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OF     THE  >^ 

UKiVERolTY    ; 



ÍSei-  II.  Vol   2.S 

THE  TRUE   HISTORY     ^'^^V'^ 

OP  THE  . 




From  the  only  exact  copy  made  of  the  Original  Manuscript, 





CranttoteH  into  0«glw|,  tiit^  introfenttion  ant  ^sttt,    .      ', ,   ., 



'  r 














:  /  -  •  V  ., .  I  T      t 

•or  / 




Sir  Clements  Markham.  K.C.B..  F.R.S.,  Ex-Pres.  R.G.S.,  President, 

The  Right  Hon.  The  Lord  Amherst  op  Hackney.  Vice-President. 

The  Right  Hon.  The  Lord  Peckover  of  Wisbech,  Vice-President. 

The  Right  Hon.  Lord  Belhaven  and  Stenton. 

Thomas  B.  Bowring. 

Colonel  George  Earl  Church. 

Colonel  Charles  Frederick  Close,  C.M.G.,  R.E. 

Sir  William  Martin  Conway. 

The  Rev.  Canon  John  Neale  Dalton,  C.M.G.,  C.V.O. 

Major  Leonard  Darwin,  late  R.E.,  Pres.  R.G.S. 

William  Foster,  B.A. 

The  Right  Hon.  Sir  George  Taubman  Goldie,  K.C.M.G.,  D.C.L., 

LL.D..  F.R.S.,  Ex-Pres.  R.G.S. 
Albert  Gray.  K.C. 

Edward  Heawooo.  M.A.,Hon.  Treasurer. 
John  Scott  Kkltie.  LL.D. 
Admiral  Sir  Albert  Hastings  Markham.  K.C.B. 
Admiral  of  the  Fleet  Sir  Edward  Hobart  Seymour,  G.C.B.,  O.M. 
Lieut. -Colonel  Sir  Richard  Carnac  Temple,  Bart.,  C.I.E. 
Basil  Home  Thomson,  Esq.,  M.A. 
Roland  Venablks  Vernon.  B.A. 

Basil  H.  Soulsby.  B.A..  F.S.A.,  F.R.G.S.,  //on.  Secretary. 



Extracts  from  Introduction  by  Seííor  Don  Genaro 
García      ..... 


Introduction  by  the  Translator 

Note  on  Spelling,  etc 

Itinerary— February  8,  15 17,  to  April  21,  15 19 

Preface  by  the  Author 


The  Expedition  under  Francisco  Hernandez  de 







,     CHAPTER    I. 
The  Beginning  of  the  Story  .  .  .5 

How  we  discovered  the  Province  of  Yutacan.  .  14 

How  we  coasted  along  towards  the  west,  discovering  capes  and 

deep  water,  roadsteads  and  reefs  .  .  .18 

Concerning  the  attack  made  on  us  as  we  stood  among  the  farms 

and  maize  fields  already  mentioned  .22 

.  How  we  agreed  to  return  to  the  Island  of  Cuba  and  of  the  great 

hardships  we  endured  before  arriving  at  the  Port  of  Havana      26 




How  twenty  of  us  soldiers  went  ashore  in  the  Bay  of  Florida,  in 
company  with  the  Pilot  Alaminos,  to  look  for  water,  and  the 
attack  that  the  natives  of  the  land  made  upon  us,  and  what 
else  happened  before  we  returned  to  Havana  28 


About  the  hardships  which  I  endured  on  the  way  to  a  town 

called  Trinidad  -33 

The  Expedition  under  Juan  de  Grijalva. 


How  Diego  Velasquez,  Governor  of  the  Island  of  Cuba,  ordered 
another  fleet  to  be  sent  to  the  lands  which  we  had  dis- 
covered and  a  kinsman  of  his,  a  nobleman  named  Juan  de 
Grijalva,  went  as  Captain  General,  besides  three  other 
Captains,  whose  names  I  will  give  later  on  -      3f> 

How  we  followed  the  same  course  that  we  had  taken  with 
Francisco  Hernandez  de  Cordova,  how  we  landed  at  Chan- 
poton  and  how  an  attack  was  made  on  us,  and  what  else 
happened    .  .  .42 

How  we  went  on  our  way  and  entered  a  large  and  broad  river  to 

which  we  then  gave  the  name  of  the  **  Boca  de  Términos  "  .      44 

How  we  arrived  at  the  Rio  de  Tabasco  which  we  named  the 

River  Grijalva,  and  what  happened  to  us  there  45 

How  we  followed  along  the  coast  towards  the  setting  sun,  and 
arrived  at  a  river  called  the  Rio  de  Banderas,  and  what 
happened  there  -49 

How  we  arrived  at  the  Rio  de  Banderas,  and  what  happened 

there  .....  51 




How  we  arrived  at  the  Island  now  called  San  Juan  de  Ulua, 
and  the  reason  why  that  name  was  given  to  it,  and  what 
happened  to  us  there.  -55 


How  Diego  Velasquez,  the  Governor  of  Cuba,  sent  a  ship  in 

search  of  us,  and  what  else  happened     .  •      5^ 


How' we  went  on  exploring  the  coast  as  far  as  the  Province  of 

Panuco,  and  what  else  happened  before  our  return  to  Cuba.       59 

BOOK    II. 

The  Voyage. 

How  Diego  Velasquez  sent  to  Spain  to  petition  His  Majesty  to 
grant  him  a  conmiission   to  trade  with,  and  conquer  the 
country,  and  to  settle  and  apportion  the  land  as  soon  as 
peace  was  established  .  .64 

Concerning  some  errors  and  other  things  written  by  the  His- 
torians Gomara  and  YUescas  about  affairs  in  New  Spain     .       66 

How  we  came  again  with  another  fleet  to  the  newly  dis- 
covered lands  with  the  valiant  and  energetic  Don  Hernando 
Cortes  (who  was  afterwards  Marques  del  Valle)  as  Captain 
of  the  Fleet,  and  the  attempts  which  were  made  to  prevent 
his  going  in  command  .  .  .  «67 

How  Cortes  prepared  and  continued  the  arrangements  necessary 

for  the  despatch  of  the  Fleet    .  .  -72 




What  Cortes  did  when  he  arrived -at  the  Town  of  Trinidad,  and 
concerning  the  soldiers  who  there  joined  him  to  go  in  his 
company,  and  other  things  that  happened  .  •      y7 


How  the  Governor  Diego  Velasquez  sent  two  of  his  servants  post 
haste  to  the  Town  of  Trinidad  with  orders  and  authority  to 
cancel  the  appointment  of  Cortes,  detain  the  Fleet,  arrest 
Cortes  and  send  him  as  a  prisoner  to  Santiago      •  .      79 


How  the  Captain  Hernando  Cortes  with  all  the  soldiers  sailed 
along  the  south  coast  to  the  Port  of  Havana,  and  how 
another  ship  was  sent  along  the  north  coast  to  the  same 
port,  and  what  else  took  place .  .  .  .82 


How  Diego  Velasquez  sent  a  servant  named  Caspar  de  Gamica 
with  orders  and  instructions  that  in  any  case  Cortes  should 
be  arrested  and  the  Fleet  taken  from  him,  and  what  was 
done  about  it  .  .  .88 


How  Cortes  set  sail  with  all  his  Company  of  Gentlemen  and 

Soldiers  for  the  Island  of  Cuba  and  what  happened  there    .      90 


How  Cortes  reviewed  all  his  army  and  what  else  happened 

to  us  .  .  .  .92 


How  Cortes  came  to  know  that  the  Indians  of  Cape  Catoche 

held  two  Spaniards  in  captivity,  and  what  he  did  aþout  it    .      93 


How  Cortes  allotted  the  ships  and  appointed  captains  to  go 
in  them,  and  gave  instructions  to  the  pilots  and  arranged 
lantern  signals  for  the  night  time,  and  what  else  happened 
to  us  .  .  .  .  .98 




How  the  Spaniard  named  Jerónimo  de  Aguilar,  who  was  a 
prisoner  among  the  Indians,  heard  that  we  had  returned  to 
Cozumel  and  came  to  us,  and  what  else  took  place  loo 


How  we  again  embarked  and  made  sail  for  the  Rio  de  Grijalva, 

and  what  happened  to  us  on  the  voyage.  «103 

How  we  arrived  at  the  Rio  de  Grijalva,  which  in  the  language  of 
the   Indians  is  called  Tabasco,  of  the  attack  which  the 
Indians  made  on  us,  and  what  else  happened  to  us  with 
them  .  .  .  .107 

How  Cortes  ordered  two  of  his  Captains  each  with  a  hundred 
soldiers  to  go  and  examine  the  country  further  inland  and 
what  else  happened  to  us  .  •     113 

How  Cortes  told  us  all  to  get  ready  by  the  next  day  to  go 
in  search  of  the  Indian  host,  and  ordered  the  horses  to 
be  brought  from  the  ships,  and  what  happened  in  the  battle 
which  we  fought         .  •  .  .116 

How  all  the  Caciques  of  Tabasco  and  its  dependencies  attacked 

us,  and  what  came  of  it  *  •  .  .118 

How  Cortes  sent  to  summon  all  the  Caciques  of  those  Provinces 

and  what  was  done  about  it      .  .  .122 

How  all  the  Caciques  and  Calchonis  from  the  Rio  de  Grijalva 

came  and  brought  a  present,  and  what  took  place  about  it  .     126 

Showing  that  Dona  Marina  was  a  Cacica  and  the  daughter  of 
persons  of  high  rank,  and  was  the  mistress  of  towns  and 
vassals,  and  how  it  happened  that  she  was  taken  to  Tabasco    132 






How  we  arrived  with  all  the  ships  at  San  Juan  de  Ulúa,  and 

what  happened  there  •  .  .136 


How  Tendile  went  to  report  to  his   Prince   Montezuma  and 

to  carry  the  present,  and  what  we  did  in  our  camp  .     142 

How  Cortes  sent  to  look  for  another  harbour  and  site  where 

to  make  a  settlement,  and  what  was  done  about  it.  .     146 

What  was  done  about  the  bartering  for  gold,  and  other  things 

that  took  place  in  camp         .  .  .  •     '49 

How  we  raised  Hernando  Cortes  to  the  post  of  Captain  General 
and  Chief  Justice,  until  His  Majest/s  wishes  on  the  matter 
should  be  known,  and  what  was  done  about  it  •     '54 

How  the  party  of  Diego  Velasquez  tried  to  upset  the  powers  we 

had  given  to  Cortes,  and  what  was  done  about  it  .  .158 

How  it  was  arranged  to  send  Pedro  de  Alvarado  inland  to  look 

for  maize  and*other  supplies  and  what  else  happened  .     160 

How  we  entered  Cempoala,  which  at  that  time  was  a  very  fine 

town,  and  what  happened  to  us  there  .  .163 

How  we  entered  Quiahuitztlan,  which  was  a  fortified  town,  and 

were  peaceably  received  ,  .  .  .167 




How  Cortes  ordered  the  five  tax  gatherers  of  Montezuma  to 
be  taken  prisoners  and  gave  out  that  from  that  time  forward 
neither  obedience  nor  tribute  should  be  rendered  to  the 
Mexicans,  and  how  the  rebellion  against  Montezuma  was 
started  .171 


How  we  determined  to  found  "  La  Villa  Rica  de  la  Vera  Cruz*' 
and  to  build  a  fort  in  some  meadows  near  the  salt  marshes, 
and  close  to  the  harbour  with  the  ugly  name  (Bemal) 
where  our  ships  were  at  anchor,  and  what  we  did  there  174 

How  the  fat  cacique  and  other  chieftains  came  to  complain  to 
Cortes,  that  in  a  fortified  town  named  Cingapacinga,  there 
was  a  garrison  of  Mexicans  which  did  them  much  damage, 
and  what  was  done  about  it      .  .  .178 

How  certain  soldiers,  partizans  of  Diego  Velasquez,  seeing  that 
we  positively  intended  to  make  settlements,  and  establish 
peace  in  the  towns,  said  that  they  did  not  want  to  go  on  any 
expedition,  but  wished  to  return  to  the  Island  of  Cuba         .     180 

What  happened  to  us  at  Cingapacinga,  and  how,  on  our  return 
by  way  of  Cempoala,  we  demolished  the  idols ;  and  other 
things  that  happened  .182 

How  Cortes  had  an  altar  made  and  set  up  an  image  of  Our  Lady 
and  a  Cross,  and  how  mass  was  said  and  the  eight  Indian 
damsels  were  baptized  .  .  .189 

How  we  returned  to  Villa  Rica  de  la  Vera  Cruz  and  what 
happened  there  .  .  .192 

The  narrative  and  letter  which  we  sent  to  His  Majesty  by  our 
proctors,  Alonzo  Hernandez  Puertocarrero  and  Francisco 
de  Montejo,  which  letter  was  signed  by  a  number  of  the 
Captains  and  soldiers  .  .  •     '94 




How  Diego  Velasquez,  the  Governor  of  Cuba,  learned  for  certain 
from  letters,  that  we  were  sending  proctors  with  an  embassy 
and  presents  to  our  King  and  Lord,  and  what  he  did 
about  it       .  .  199 


How  our  Proctors  passed  through  the  Bahama  Channel  in  good 
weather  and  in  a  short  time  arrived  in  Castille,  and  what 
happened  to  them  at  Court       ....    202 


What  was  done  in  camp  and  the  judgment  which  Cortes  delivered 
after  our  ambassadors  had  departed  to  go  to  His  Majesty 
with  all  the  gold  and  letters  and  narratives  .  .    206 


How  we  settled  to  go  to  Mexico  and  to  destroy  all  the  ships 
before  starting,  and  what  else  happened,  and  how  the  plan 
of  destroying  the  ships  was  done  by  advice  and  decision  of 
all  of  us  who  were  friends  with  Cortes  .     208 


About  a  discourse  which  Cortes  made  to  us  after  the  ships  had 
been  destroyed,  and  how  we  hastened  our  departure  for 
Mexico        .  .  .  .  .  .210 


How  Cortes  went  to  where  the  ship  was  anchored  and  how  we 
captured  six  of  the  soldiers  and  mariners  who  belonged  to 
the  ship,  and  what  happened  about  it  .  .212 


How  we  settled  to  go  to  the  City  of  Mexico,  and  on  the  advice  of 
the  Cacique  we  went  by  way  of  Tlascala,  and  what  happened 
to  us  in  our  warlike  engagements  and  other  matters  .     217 


BOOK     IV. 




How  we  decided  to  go  by  way  of  Tlaxcala,  and  how  we  sent 
messengers  to  induce  the  Tlaxcalans  to  agree  to  our  passage 
through  their  country,  how  the  messengers  were  taken 
prisoners  and  what  else  happened  .  .  .225 


Of  the  war  which  was  waged  and  the  perilous  battles  which  we 

fought  against  the  Tlaxcalans  and  what  else  happened         .     230 


How  we  pitched  our  camp  in  some  towns  and  hamlets  called 

Teaoacingo  or  Tevagingo  and  what  we  did  there  .  .     234 

Concerning  the  great  battle  which  we  fought  against  the  forces 
of  Tlaxcala,  in  which  it  pleased  our  Lord  God  to  give  us  the 
victory,  and  what  else  happened  .  .    237 

How  next  day  we  sent  messengers  to  the  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala, 

begging  them  to  make  peace,  and  what  they  did  about  it    .    240 

How  we  again  sent  messengers  to  the  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala  to 

bring  them  to  peace  and  what  they  did  about  it  and  decided    24$ 

How  we  agreed  to  go  to  a  town  which  was  near  to  our  camp,  and 

what  we  did  about  it .  .  .  .     248 

How  when  we  returned  with  Cortes  from  Tzumpantzinco  with 
supplies,  we  found  certain  discussions  being  carried  on  in 
our  camp,  and  what  Cortes  replied  to  them  .  .251 





How  the  Captain  Xicotenga  had  got  ready  twenty  thousand 
picked  warriors  to  attack  our  camp  and  what  was  done 
about  it       .  .  .  .  .  .257 


How  the  four  chieftains  who  had  been  sent  to  treat  for  peace 
arrived  in  our  camp  and  the  speech  they  made,  and  what 
else  happened  .....     260 


How  ambassadors  from  Montezuma,  the  great  lord  of  Mexico, 

came  to  our  camp,  and  of  the  present  which  they  brought    .     264 


How  Xicotenga,  the  Captain  General  of  Tlaxcala,  came  to  treat 

for  peace,  and  what  he  said  and  what  he  settled  with  us       .    265 


How  the  old  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala  came  to  our  camp  to  beg 
Cortes  and  all  of  us  to  go  at  once  with  them  to  their  city, 
and  what  happened  about  it     .  .271 


How  we  went  to  the  City  of  Tlaxcala,  and  what  the  old  Caciques 
did,  about  the  present  that  they  gave  us  and  how  they 
brought  their  daughters  and  nieces,  and  what  else  happened     274 


How  Mass  was  said  in  the  presence  of  many  of  the  Caciques,  and 

about  a  present  which  the  old  Caciques  brought  us  277 


How  they  brought  their  daughters  to  present  to  Cortes  and  to 

all  of  us,  and  what  was  done  about  it       .  -279 


How  Cortes  questioned  Mase  Escasi  and  Xicotenga  about  things 

in  Mexico,  and  what  account  they  gave  of  them    .  283 




How  our  Captain  Hernando  Cortes  decided  that  all  of  us  Captains 
and  soldiers  should  go  to  Mexico,  and  what  happened 
about  it       .  .  .  .    289 

How  the  great  Montezuma  sent  four  chieftains  of  great  import- 
ance with  a  present  of  gold  and  cloth  and  what  they  said  to 
our  Captain  .  .  .292 


How  the  people  of  Cholula^sent  four  Indians  of  little  conse- 
quence to  make  their  excuses  for  not  having  come  to 
Tlaxcala,  and  what  happened  about  it    .  .  296 


1.  Portrait  of  Hernando  Cortes.     From  an  oil  painting  in  the 

Hospital  de  Jesus  Nazareno,  City  of  Mexico.  From  a 
photograph  by  Alfred  P.  Maudslay,  F.S.A.     Frontispiece 

2.  Part  of  a  Mural  Painting  of  a  Battle,  from  the  Ball  Court 

Temple,  Chichén  Itzá,  Yucatan.  From  a  drawing  by 
Miss  Adela  Breton  .  .     To  /ace      22 

3.  Reduced  facsimile  of  Title-page  of  Decade  II  of  Ant.  de 

Herrera  :  Historia  General^  1 601  - 1 6 1 6,  fol.  With  portraits 
of  Diego  Velasquez,  and  Juan  de  Grijalva.  From  Mr. 
Thomas  Grenville*s  copy  in  the  British  Museum.    To  face      36 

4.  A/.,    Decade   111.      With  portraits   of   Hernando  Cortes, 

Cristoval  de  Olid,  Gonzalo  de  Sandoval,  the  capture  of 
Guatemoc,  etc.        ....    To  face      58 

5.  A/.,  Decade  IX.    Showing  Mexican  Gods,  Temples,  etc. 

To  face      62 

6-9.  Carteu  Ynstruciones  y  Cedulas  de  su  Magestad^  etc,^ 
by  Bautista  Antoneli.  1608.  Reproduced  through  the 
courtesy  of  Mr.  Bernard  Quaritch,  who  purchased  the 



illuminated  MS.  at  the  Amherst  Sale  at  Sotheby's, 
December,  1908  .  .  .  .  .To  face    303 

6.  Facsimile  of  Title-page. 

7.  Prefatory  leaf. 

8.  Fol.  135.    Map  of  the  Coast  near  San  Juan  dc  Ulúa, 

showing  the  City  of  Vera  Cruz  on  the  Rio  Antigua, 
whither  it  was  moved  after  its  previous  foundation 
near  Quiahuistla. 

9.  Fol.  139.    Description  and  perspective  of  San  Juan 

de  Ulúa. 

10.  Temple  on   the    Isla   de    las    Mugeres,  Yucatan.     Drawn 

by  Miss  Annie  Hunter  from  a  photograph  by  W.  H. 
Holmes  {Arckao logical  Studies^  Chicago,  1879),  ^^^  ^ 
drawing  by  F.  Catherwood  {Incidents  of  Travel  in 
yí/í»/a«,  by  John  L.  Stephens,  London,  1843     .    To  face    105 

11.  Map  of  the  Ruins  of  Cintia,  after  Dr.  C.  H.  Berendt     Scale, 

I  inch  =  5  statute  miles.  Reproduced  by  H.  F.  Milne, 
R.G.S.      .....    To  face     108 

12.  Reduced  facsimile  of  Title-page  of  Decade  IV  of  Ant.  de 

H errera :  Historia  General,  1 60 1  - 1 6 1 5 ,  fol.  Wi th  portraits 
of  Pedro  de  Alvarado,  Diego  de  Ordás,  the  Volcano  of 
Popocatepetl,  etc.  .  .  .  ,    To  face    287 

13-16.  Masks  of  Quetzalcoatl  and  Tezcatlipoca,  given  by  Monte- 
zuma to  Cortes,  who  sent  them  to  the  Emperor  Charles  V. 
From  the  originals  in  the  British  Museum  : — 

13.  Quetzalcoatl .  .  ,    To  face    299 

14.  Quetzalcoatl.  .  .    To  face    300 

1 5.  Tezcatlipoca  (front  view)  .  .    To  face    302 

16.  Tezcatlipoca  (back  view)  .  .    To  face    302 

17.  Map  of  part  of  Mexico,  showing  the  route  of  the  Spaniards 

from  Vera  Cruz  to  the  City  of  Mexico,  15 19-1520.  Scale, 
I  :  950,400,  or  I  inch  =  1 5  statute  miles.  Prepared  from 
the  Mexican  Staff  Map,  1889- 1907^  (Scale,  i  :  ioo,oco),  by 
H.  F.  Milne,  R.G.S.  .  .  In  pocket  at  end. 

18.  The  West  Indies  and  Spanish  Main,   showing  Coast-line 

known  to  the  Spaniards,  1516.  Scale,  150  statute  miles 
=  ij^  inches.     Prepared  by  H.  F.  Milne,  R.G.S. 

In  pocket  at  end. 

Note  — Nos.  2-10,  and  12-16  have  been  reproduced  for  the  Hakluyt 
Society  by  Mr.  Donald  Macbeth,  of  66,  Ludgate  Hill,  £.C. 




HE    True  History  of  the  Conquest 
of  New  Spain,  written  by  Bernal 
Diaz    del    Castillo,    one    of    the 
^^M^n^A   t£s/^T     Conquerors,  was  known  and  ap- 
^G^^l^^^^      preciated  by  historians  and  bib- 
liographers before  it  was  published.     Antonio  de 
Herrera*  quotes  it  frequently,   Friar  Juan  de  Tor- 
quemada^  also  refers  to  it  on  several  occasions,  and 

^  The  following  extracts  are  translated  direct  from  Sefior  Don 
Genaro  Garcia's  Introduction.  Any  differences  entertained  with 
regard  to  the  names  of  persons  or  places  or  the  routes  followed, 
will  be  explained  in  note  attached  to  the  translation  of  the  text 
of  Bernal  Diaz's  narrative. 

2  Historia  general  de  los  hechos  de  ios  castellanos  en  las  Islas  i 
Tierra  Firme  del  Mar  Oceano.  Madrid,  1726-30,  Decada  2' 
passim.  The  first  edition  was  published  in  1601. 

^  Los  Veinte  i  un  libros  rituales  y  Monarchia  Indiana.  Madrid, 
1723,  Tomo  I  passim.    The  first  edition  was  published  in  161 5. 


the .  Licentiate  Antonio  de   Leon    Pinelo^   devotes 
some  lines  to  it  in  his  brief  bibliography. 

Although  the  original  manuscript  has  always 
been  kept  in  Guatemala,  first  by  the  Author,  and 
afterwards  by  his  descendants,  and  still  later  by  the 
Municipality  of  the  Capital,  in  whose  archives  it  is 
preserved  to-day,  a  copy  of  it  was  made  in  the 
sixteenth  century  and  sent  to  Spain  to  King  Philip  1 1* 
and  was  there  consulted  by  the  Royal  chroniclers. 
After  its  publication  in  Madrid  by  Friar  Alonzo 
Remón  of  the  Order  of  Mercy  in  the  year  1632  the 
True  History  was  universally  accepted  from  that 
time  onwards  as  the  most  complete  and  trustworthy 
of  the  chronicles  of  the  Conquest  of  New  Spain.  A 
second  edition  followed  almost  immediately  in  the 
same  city,  some  four  years  later  a  third,  a  fourth,  and 
a  fifth.  It  was  translated  into  English  by  Maurice 
Keatinge  in  i8oo  and  John  Ingram  Lockhart  in 
1844;  into  German  by  Ph.  J.  von  Rehfues  in  1838 
and  Karl  Ritter  in  1848  ;  into  French  by  D.  Jour- 
danet  in  1876  and  Jose  Maria  de  Heredia  in  1877,' 

^  Epitome  de  la  Biblioteca  Oriental  i  Occidental^  Nautica  y 
Geografica.     Madrid,  1629.     Page  75. 

-  So  it  was  stated  by  Juan  Rodriquez  Cabrillo  de  Medrano  in 
1579.  In  the  Historia  de  Guatemala  b  Recordacion  Florida^  by 
D.  Francisco  Antonio  de  Fuentes  y  Guzman.  Madrid,  1882-83. 
Vol.  i,  page  398.— G.  G. 

s  The  French  translations  were — although  an  interval  of  one 
year  lay  between  their  publication  —written  simultaneously  by 
the  distinguished  author  of  the  Influence  de  la  pression  de  Pair  sur 
la  vie  de  Thomme^  and  the  excellent  poet  to  whom  France  is 
indebted  for  the  inimitable   Les   Trophies,    This   synchronism 


and  into  Hungarian  by  Károly  Brózik  in   1878  and 
Moses  Gaal  in  1899. 

Several  of  these  translations  obtained  the  honours 
of  a  second  edition,  as  that  of  Keatinge  in  1803,  ^^^^ 
of  Rehfues  in  1843,  and  that  of  Jourdanet  in  1877. 
«  »  »  « 

It  must  be  pointed  out  that  no  secret  has  ever 
been  made  of  Remón*s  extensive  corruption  of  the 
original  text.  Don  Antonio  de  Leon  Pinelo,  in  his 
account  of  the  True  History  in  1629,  says,  no  doubt 
without  malice,  that  Friar  Alonzo  Remón  kept  in 
readiness  a  "corrected"  copy  for  publication.  It 
was  no  sooner  printed  than  the  author  of  the  Isagoge 
Histórico  Apologético^  found  in  it  '*  many  things 
added  which  were  not  found  in  the  original."  More 
explicitly  and  with  a  better  judgment  Don  Francisco 
Antonio  de  Fuentes  y  Guzman,  the  great-great- 
grandson  of  the  author,  and  at  that  time  the  pos- 
sessor of  the  manuscript,  wrote  at  the  end  of  the 
same  century  that  the  book,  published  by  the 
reverend  father  Friar  Alonzo  Remón,  differs  con- 
siderably from  the  original,  '*for  in  some  places 
there  is  more  and  in  others  less  than  what  my 
great-grandfather  the  author  wrote,  for  I  find  cor- 
ruptions in  chapters  164  and  171,  and  in  the  same 
way  in  other  parts  in  the  course  of  the  history,  in 
which  not  only  is  the  credibility  and  fidelity  of  my 

strongly  indicates  the  extraordinary  importance  attributed  to  the 
Historia  Verdadera, — G.  G. 

^  Published  in  Madrid,  1892. 



Castillo  clouded  over,   but   many  real   heroes   are 
defrauded  of  their  just  merit." 

Fuentes  y  Guzman  states  that  this  corruption  (of 
the  text)  was  not  the  least  important  of  the  motives 
that  induced  him  to  write  his  own  work.^  At  the 
beginning  of  the  following  century  Friar  Francisco 
Vazquez  proved  that  Friar  Bartolomé  de  Olmedo 
was  not  in  Guatemala  at  the  time  of  its  conquest,  as 
is  stated  in  the  edition  of  Remón,  and  therefore  he 
was  not  the  first  to  spread  the  Christian  faith  through 
that  province,  unless,  as  he  says,  one  should  concede 
another  miracle  such  as  that  of  Saint  Anthony  qf 
Padua,  who  managed  to  be  in  two  different  places 
at  the  same  time. 

Some  years  afterwards  Don  Andres  Gonzalez 
Barcia,  referring  to  the  charge  that  Fuentes  y 
Guzman  had  launched  against  Remón,  arbitrarily 
surmised  that  the  differences  that  existed  between 
the  edition  published  by  the  latter  and  the  original 
manuscript  were  matters  of  no  importance,  and 
simply  inferred  that  it  was  **easy  to  believe  that  in 
copying  the  author  should  make  some  alterations,  as 
ordinarily  happens."  This  defence  was  not  con- 
vincing, and  on  this  account  our  great  bibliographer 
in  Mexico,  Don  Juan  Jose  de  Eguiara  y  Eguren, 
delicately  objected  that  P.  Vazquez  had  declared 
even  the  first  edition  to  be  falsified,  while  in  Spain 
the  indefatigable  chronicler  Don  Juan  Bautista 
Munoz  endeavoured  to  procure  a  copy  of  the  original 

^  Historia  de  Guatemala  b  Recordacibn  Florida^  page  8. 


manuscript  with  the  object  of  ascertaining  the 
alterations  due  to  Padre  Remón. 

Finally,  if  there  could  be  any  doubt  remaining 
about  the  bad  faith  of  Remón,  it  was  completely 
dispelled  by  the  Guatemalan  historians  Padre  Do- 
mingo Juarros,  Don  Jose  Milla,  the  Bishop  Don 
Francisco  de  Paula  Garcia  Paláez,  and  Don  Ramon 
A.  Salazar,  who  from  personal  inspection  fully  cor- 
roborated what  had  been  asserted  by  their  predeces- 
sors the  author  of  the  Isagoge,  Fuentes  y  Guzman, 
and  Vásquez. 

As  a  matter  of  fact  we  can  see  at  a  glance  in  the 
following  notes  (par.  iv.  and  Appendix  No.  2)^  that 
Fray  Alonzo  Remón  in  printing  the  True  History 
suppressed  whole  pages  of  the  manuscript,  inter- 
polated others,  garbled  the  facts,  changed  the 
names  of  persons  and  places,  increased  or  lessened 
the  numbers,  modified  the  style  and  modernised 
the  orthography,  moved  thereto  either  by  religious 
fervour  and  false  patriotism,  or  by  personal  sym- 
pathy and  vile  literary  taste.  As  all  the  later 
editions,  and  all  the  translations  without  exception 
were    copied  from  the   first   edition   published   by 

^  This  paragraph  and  appendix  has  not  been  translated.  As 
we  have  now  before  us  an  accurate  copy  of  the  original  text,  the 
reader  would  not  be  much  interested  in  a  discussion  of  the  cor- 
ruptions of  the  text  by  Padre  Remón.  In  most  instances  these 
corruptions  of  the  text  were  introduced  for  the  purpose  of  mag- 
nifying the  importance  of  Padre  Olmedo  and  the  Friars  of  the 
Order  of  Mercy,  of  which  Order  Padre  Remón  was  himself  a 
member.  In  the  edition  of  Don  Genaro  Garcia  these  matters  are 
fully  investigated,  and  a  complete  bibliography  is  given. 


Remón,  it  results  that  in  reality  we  do  not  know 

the  True  History. 

«  «  «  « 

On  the  20th  October,  1895,  Don  Emilio  Leon, 
the  Envoy  Extraordinary  and  Minister  Plenipo- 
tentiary from  the  Republic  of  Guatemala  accredited 
to  Mexico,  presented  in  the  name  of  his  Govern- 
ment to  ours,  **  as  a  proof  of  friendship  and  especial 
regard,"  a  photographic  reproduction  of  the  original 
manuscript.  It  was  then,  with  some  reason,  be- 
lieved that,  at  last,  we  should  see  the  True  History 
published ;  but  this  could  not  be  carried  out,  for 
accompanying  the  gift  of  the  reproduction  was  a 
prohibition  against  its  being  copied  and  printed. 

Five  years  later,  when  I  wrote  my  book  entitled 
**  Caracter  de  la  Conquista  Espanola  en  America  y 
en  Mexico,"  I  was  convinced  that  to  perfect  our 
Ancient  history  an  exact  edition  of  the  True 
History  was  indispensable,  and  I  desired  to  carry 
this  work  through. 

Soon  afterwards,  in  August,  1901,  I  wrote  to  the 
then  President  of  Guatemala,  Don  Manuel  Estrada 
Cabrera,  telling  him  of  my  wish  to  print  the 
precious  manuscript. 

This  distinguished  official  had  the  kindness  to 
reply  on  the  first  of  the  following  month  that  on 
that  very  day  he  had  decreed  that  **an  exact  and 
complete  copy  of  the  manuscript  '*  should  be  made 
and  sent  to  me  for  the  purpose  that  I  had  stated. 
Sefior  Don  Juan  I.  Argueta,  Secretary  of  the 
Interior    and   Justice   in    that    Republic,    at    once 


began  punctually  to  send  me  instalments  of  the 
copy  as  soon  as  they  were  made,  which  copy  I 
corrected  here,  and  perfected  with  all  care  and 
accuracy  by  comparing  it  with  the  photographic 
reproduction  already  referred  to,  which  is  pre- 
served in  our  National  Library. 

«  «  «  « 

The  author  says  that,  after  making  a  fair  copy 
of  his  narrative,  two  licentiates  of  Guatemala 
begged  him  to  lend  it  to  them,  and  that  he 
did  so  most  willingly ;  but  he  warned  them  not 
to  correct  it  in  any  way,  neither  by  addition  nor 
deletion,  for  all  that  he  had  written  was  true. 

Assuredly  with  regard  to  truth  the  author  would 
find  no  fault  with  us,  for  we  have  taken  care  to 
religiously  respect  the  original  text,  without  intro- 
ducing the  slightest  variation,  not  even  of  the 
artless  orthography  or  punctuation. 

Any  change  would  have  been  dangerous,  and 
we  might  have  fallen  into  the  same  error  that  we 
attribute  to  Remón ;  everybody  knows  that  by  a 
single  comma  one  might  reverse  the  meaning  of  a 

We  reproduce  in  notes  placed  at  the  foot  of  the 
page  all  the  erasures  that  can  have  any  interest  for 
inquiring  readers,  and  in  like  manner  we  have 
transcribed  all  the  various  words  blotted  out, 
which,  besides  exhibiting  important  variations,  give 
an  idea  of  the  method  of  composition  employed  by 
the  author. 

Occasionally,   when  a  full   understanding  of  the 

•  •  é 


text  necessitates  it,  or  for  the  purpose  of  finishing 
off  a  clearly  implied  word  or  phrase,  or  of  cor- 
recting some  manifest  numerical  error,  we  have 
ventured  to  insert  some  word  or  number  between 
brackets,  so  that  it  can  be  known  at  once  that  it 
is  not  the  author  who  is  speaking,  and  the  readers 
are  left  at  liberty  to  admit  or  reject  the  slight 
interpolation ;  finally,  we  have  allowed  ourselves 
to  indicate  by  dotted  lines  the  gaps  that  are  found 
in  the  original  manuscript,  which,  happily,  are  very 
few  in  number,  except  on  the  first  and  last  pages, 
which,  in  the  course  of  time,  have  naturally  suffered 
more  than  the  others. 

May  our  modest  effort  meet  with  the  appro- 
bation of  the  intelligent  and  learned,  for  we  long 
for  it  as  much  as  we  fear  their  censure. 

*-       '  -      - 



HIS     LIFE. 

«  «  «  « 

Bernal  Diaz  del  Castillo  was  born  in  the  very 
noble,  famous  and  celebrated  town^  of  Medina  del 
Campo  in  the  year  1492  at  the  very  time  when 
Christopher  Columbus  was  joining  the  two  worlds. 

Bernal  tells  us  that  at  the  time  that  he  made  up 
his  mind  to  come  to  New  Spain,  about  the  year 
1 5 17,  he  was  a  youth  **of  about  twenty-four  years," 
a  statement  which  corroborates  the  date  of  his 

His    parents    were    Don    Francisco     Diaz    del 

Castillo  and  Dona  Maria  Diez  Rejón. 

«  «  «  « 

Bernal  was  not '  the  only  son,  he  tells  us  of 
his  brother,  probably  older  than  himself,  whom  he 

wished  to  imitate. 

«  «  «  «      ' 

Bernal  himself  writes  that  he  was  a  gentleman,^ 
and  that  his  grandparents,  his  father  and  his  brother 
were  always  servants  of  the  Crown  and  of  their 
Catholic  Majesties  Don  Fernando  and  Dona  Isabel, 
which  Carlos  V.  confirms  by  calling  them  "  our 
retainers  and  servants." 

^  "Muy  noble  é  insigne  y  muy  nombrada  Villa."  In  old 
Spain  towns  and  cities  were  formally  granted  such  titles  of 

*  Hijodalgo. 


If  the  family  of  Bernal  had  not  enjoyed  esteem 
and  respect  in  Medina  del  Campo,  the  inhabitants 
would  not  have  chosen  Don  Francisco  as  their 
Regidor}  On  the  other  hand,  his  financial  position 
must  have  been  a  very  modest  one,  for  the  author 
most  certainly  came  here  to  seek  his  fortune,  and 
often  complains  of  his  poverty. 

After  all,  the  fact  that  in  the  True  History  he 
discloses  a  very  scrupulous  moral  sense,  a  fair 
amount  of  learning,  accurate  philosophy,  and  a 
piety  out  of  the  common,  permits  us  to  infer  that 
his  family  educated  him  with  great  care ;  it  would 
be  exceptional  for  a  man  illiterate  and  untaught 
during  his  youth  to  acquire  such  qualities  ih  his 
old  age  ;  it  is*  proven,  on  the  other  hand,  that  the 
author  knew  how  to  write  when  he  reached  New 
Spain.  Nevertheless,  we  know  nothing  for  certain 
about  the  childhood  and  youth  of  Bernal,  our  in- 
formation begins  in  the  year  1 5 1 4. 

The  author  was  then  twenty-two  years  old. 

From  some  of  his  remarks  one  may  judge  that 
he  was  tall  or  of  middle  height,  active,  quick,  well 
made  and  graceful  ;  his  comrades  called  him  **the 
elegant  *'  (el  galan). 

Following  the  example  of  so  many  other  Spanish 
youths,  Bernal  left  his  country  in  the  year  1514  to 
emigrate  to  America  in  search  of  adventures  and 
riches,  resolved  to  be  worthy  of  his  ancestry.     He 

1  Regidor  =  magistrate,  prefect. 


accompanied  Pedro  Arias  de  Avila,  the  Governor 
of  Tierra  Firme,  as  one  of  his  soldiers. 

When  he  reached  Nombre  de  Dios  he  remained 
there  three  or  four  months,  until  an  epidemic  that 
broke  out  and  certain  disputes  that  arose  between 
the  Governor  and  his  son-in-law,  Vasco  Nuftez  de 
Balboa,  obliged  him  to  flee  to  Cuba,  to  his  relation, 
Diego  Velasquez,  who  was  Governor  of  the  Island. 

During  three  years  Bemal  **  did  nothing  worthy 
of  record,"  and  on  that  account  he  determined  to 
set  out  on  the  discovery  of  unknown  lands  with  the 
Captain  Francisco  Hernandez  de  Cordova  and  one 
hundred  and  ten  companions. 

They  sailed  in  three  ships  from  the  port  of 
Ajaruco  on  the  8th  February,  15 17,  and  after 
enduring  a  passage  occupying  twenty-one  days 
and  one  fierce  gale,  they  arrived  at  Cape  Catoche, 
where  the  natives  gave  them  a  hostile  reception. 

After  touching  at  Lázaro  they  stopped  at 
Chanpotón,  where  the  natives  killed  forty-eight 
Spaniards,  captured  two  of  them,  and  wounded 
the  rest,  including  the  captain,  who  received  ten 
arrow  wounds,  and  the  author,  who  received  **  three, 
and  one  of  them  in  the  left  side  which  pierced  my 
ribs,  and  was  very  dangerous." 

The  survivors  returned  by  way  of  Florida  to 
Cuba,  disillusioned  and  in  ill-health,  suffering  from 
burning  thirst  and  barely  escaping  shipwreck,  for 
the  ships  were  leaking  badly.  When  recounting 
these  calamities  the  author  exclaims — 

"  Oh !  what  a  troublesome  thing  it  is  to  go  and 


discover  new  lands   and  the   risks   we   took   it   is  } 

hardly  possible  to  exaggerate."  ^  ! 

Nevertheless  Bernal  was  not  discouraged  by  ex- 
perience ;  his  poverty,  which,  of  necessity,  increased  | 
daily,  impelled  him  to  seek  his  fortune  even  at  the 
risk  of  losing  his  life,  and  his  youth  made  him 
naturally  impatient ;  he  did  not  care  to  wait  for  the 
Indians  which  Diego  Velasquez  had  promised  to 
give  him  as  soon  as  there  were  some  unemployed, 
and  he  at  once  enlisted  in  a  second  expedition, 
composed  of  four  ships  and  two  hundred  soldiers, 
under  the  command  of  Juan  de  Grijalva,  which 
weighed  anchor  in  the  port  of  Matanzas  on  the 
8th  April,    1 518. 

The  author  says  that  he  went  **as  ensign,"  but 
jt  is  doubtful 

The  expedition  went  by  way  of  Cozumel  and 
Chanpotón,  whose  intrepid  inhabitants  wounded 
Grijalva  and  broke  two  of  his  teeth,  and  killed 
seven  soldiers,  by  the  Boca  de  Términos,  the  Rio 
de  Tabasco  which  they  called  the  Rio  de  Grijalva, 
La  Rambla,  the  Rios  de  Tonalá  or  de  Santo  Anton, 
de  Coatzacoalcos,  de  Papaloapan  or  de  Alvarado, 
and  the  Rio  de  Banderas,  where  they  obtained  by 
barter  *'  more  than  sixteen  thousand  pesos  in  jewels 
and  low  grade  gold."  They  sighted  the  Isla  Blanca 
and  the  Isla  Verde,  and  landed  on  the  Isla  de 
Sacrificios  and  the  sand  dunes  of  Ulua ;  thence 
Alvarado,  accompanied  by  certain  soldiers,  returned 
to  Cuba  in  search  of  reinforcements,  while  Grijalva, 
with  the  rest  of  his  followers,  including  the  author, 


pushed  ahead  by  Tuxtla/  Tuxpan  and  the  Rio  de 
Canoas,  where  the  Spaniards  were  attacked  by  the 
natives  to  Cape  Rojo  ;  then  Grijalva,  yielding  to 
the  entreaties  of  his  soldiers,  agreed  to  return  to 

Velasquez,  fascinated  beyond  measure  by  the  gold 
which  Grijalva  had  obtained  by  barter,  organised  a 
third  expedition  consisting  of  **  eleven  ships  great 
and  small,"  and  appointed  Hernan  Cortes  to  com- 
mand it.  Bernal  again  enlisted,  as  at  this  time  he 
found  himself  much  in  debt.  Cortes  set  out  from 
the  Port  of  Trinidad  on  the  i8th  February,  15 19. 
The  author  had  started  eight  days  earlier  in  the 
company  of  Pedro  de  Alvarado.  All  met  together 
again  at  the  Island  of  Cozumel,  where  a  review  was 
held,  which  showed  a  muster  of  five  hundred  and 
eight  soldiers,  **not  including  ship-masters,  pilots 
and  seamen,  who  numbered  one  hundred,  and  six- 
teen horses  and  mares.**  Keeping  on  their  course 
they  passed  close  by  Chanpotón  without  venturing 
to  land ;  they  stopped  at  Tabasco,  where  they 
fought  with  the  natives,  who  gave  the  author  **an 
arrow  wound  in  the  thigh  but  it  was  not  a  severe 
wound,"  and  finally  they  arrived  at  Uliia. 

They  went  inland  and  marched  to  Cempoala  and 
Quiahuiztlan,  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  latter 
they  founded  the  Villa  Rica  de  la  Vera  Cruz,  and 
they   determined   to    push    on    to    Mexico,    whose 

^  This  is  an  error.     Tuxtla  was  passed  before  reaching  the 
Isla  de  Sacriiicios. 


Prince,  Motecuhzoma,^  had  been  exciting  their 
cupidity  by  rich  presents  of  gold  and  other  objects 
of  value. 

Before  undertaking  this  march,  the  friends  of 
Cortes  (one  of  whom  was  Bernal)  advised  him  to 
destroy  the  ships,  lest  any  of  the  soldiers  should 
mutiny  and  wish  to  return  to  Cuba,  and  so  that  he 
could  make  use  of  the  ship-masters,  pilots  and  sea- 
men '*who  numbered  nearly  one  hundred  persons" 
as  we  have  already  stated.  When  this  had  been 
done,  ***  without  concealment  and  not  as  the  chronicler 
Gómara  describes  it,"  they  started  for  Mexico  in 
the  middle  of  August,  probably  on  the  sixteenth, 
and  passed  without  incident  through  Jalapa  Xico- 
chimalco,  Ixhuacan,  Texutla,  Xocotla  and  Xala- 
cingo,  but  on  reaching  the  frontiers  of  Tlaxcala  they 
were  stopped  by  the  natives,  who  fought  against 
them  for  several  days.  There  the  author  received 
**  two  wounds,  one  on  the  head  from  a  stone,  and 
the  other  an  arrow  wound  in  the  thigh,'*  from  which 
he  was  seriously  ill  in  the  Capital  of  Tlaxcala,  after 
Cortes  had  made  peace  and  an  alliance  with  the 

**On  the  1 2th  October"  they  continued  their 
march  by  Cholula,  where  they  committed  a  shocking 
massacre,  Itzcalpan,  Tlamanalco,  and  Itztapalatengo. 
Here  Cacamatzin  the  Lord  of  Tetzcoco  met  them  in 
royal  state  to  welcome  them  in  the  name  of  Mote- 
cuhzoma,    and    they   accompanied    him    along   the 

^  Montezuma. 


causeway  of  Itztapalapa,  which  crossed  the  lake  in 
a  straight  line  to  Mexico,  and  from  it  could  be  seen 
on  both  sides  innumerable  **  cities  and  towns/*  some 
in  the  water  and  others  on  dry  land,  all  of  them 
beautified  by  stately  temples  and  palaces.  This 
wonderful  panorama,  as  picturesque  as  it  was  novel, 
made  the  deepest  impression  on  Bernal  and  his 
companions,  and  he  says,  **we  were  amazed  and 
said  that  it  was  like  the  enchantments  they  tell  us  of 
in  the  story  of  Amadis,  on  account  of  the  great 
towers  and  cues^  and  buildings  rising  from  the 
water,  and  all  built  of  masonry.  And  some  of  our 
soldiers  even  asked  whether  the  things  that  we  saw 
were  not  all  a  dream." 

When  they  reached  the  junction  of  the  cause- 
ways of  Itztapalapa  and  Coyohuacan  they  met 
many  Caciques  and  Chieftains  of  importance  coming 
in  advance  of  Motecuhzoma,  who  received  the 
Spaniards  a  little  further  on,  almost  at  the  gates 
of  Mexico,  with  sumptuous  pomp  and  extreme 
ceremony.  Many  times  the  Mexican  sovereign  had 
contemplated  attacking  the  Spaniards,  but  weighed 
down  by  superstition  and  rendered  powerless  by  a 
timid  and  vacillating  character,  he  now  conducted 
them  into  the  great  Tenochtitlan,  only  to  deliver  it 
up  to  them  at  once.  The  autocrat  felt  himself  fatally 
conquered  before  beginning  the  struggle. 

Thence  step  by  step  within  a  few  days  he  suffered 
seven  Spaniards,  among  whom  was  Bernal,  to  make 

^  Cue  =  temple.  This  is  not  a  Nahua  or  Maya  word  but  one 
picked  up  by  the  Spaniards  in  the  Antilles, 


him  a  prisoner  in  his  own  palace  ;  he  allowed  his 
jailors  to  burn  [to  death]  Quauhpopoca  and  other 
native  chieftains,  whose  crime  consisted  in  having, 
by  his  own  orders,  given  battle  to  Juan  de 
Escalante  and  other  Spanish  soldiers  ;  he  handed 
over  to  Cortes  Cacamatzin,  Totoquihuatzin,  Cuitlá- 
huac  and  Cuauhtemoc,  lords  respectively  of  Tetzcoco, 
Tlacopan,  Itztapalapan  and  Tlatelolco,  who  wished 
to  set  their  sovereign  at  liberty,  and  finally,  weeping 
like  a  tender  unhappy  woman,  he  swore  fealty  to 
the  King  of  Spain. 

With  ease  and  in  a  short  time  Cortes  was  able  to 
collect  an  immense  treasure  which  amounted  to 
**  seven  hundred  thousand  gold  dollars,"  which  he 
found  it  necessary  to  divide  among  his  soldiers  ; 
nevertheless,  he  made  the  division  with  such  trickery 
and  cunning  that  there  fell  to  the  soldiers  **  a  very 
small  share,  only  one  hundred  dollars  each,  and  it 
was  so  very  little  that  many  of  the  soldiers  did  not 
want  to  take  it,  and  Cortes  was  left  with  it  all."  If 
the  author  did  not  complain  of  this  as  much  as 
some  of  his  companions,  for  example,  as  Cardenas, 
who  even  **  fell  ill  from  brooding  and  grief,"  it  was 
owing  to  his  having  already  received  from  Mote- 
cuhzoma  some  presents  of  **gold  and  cloths,"  as  well 
as  of  **  a  beautiful  Indian  girl  .  .  .  the  daughter  of 
a  chieftain,"  whom  he  ventured  to  beg  of  the 
Sovereign  through  the  good  offices  of  the  page 
Orteguilla,  a  gift  which  he  certainly  thought  that  he 
had  gained  by  his  respectful  courtesy  **for  when- 
ever I    was  on  guard  over  him,  or  passed  before 


him,  I  doffed  my  helmet  to  him  with  the  greatest 

The  Spaniards  began  to  enjoy  the  gold  divided 
among  them,  abandoning  themselves  to  a  life  of 
licentious  pleasure,  when  in  March  1520  Pánfilo  de 
Narvaez  arrived  at  Ulúa  with  sixteen  ships,^ 
fourteen  hundred  soldiers,  ninety  crossbowmen, 
seventy  musketeers,  and  eighty  horses. 

Diego  Velasquez  had  sent  him  to  punish  Cortes 
and  his  followers  as  traitors,  because  they  had 
rebelled  against  him  without  reason.  However,  as 
Cortes  was  immensely  rich,  and  there  is  no  power 
greater  than  riches,  he  soon  won  over  almost  all 
the  soldiers  of  Narvaez  with  ingots  and  jewels  of 
gold,  in  such  a  way  that  when  the  fight  took  place 
at  Cempoala,  Narvaez  was  the  only  man  who  fought 
in  earnest,  until  he  was  wounded  and  lost  an  eye. 
The  author  figures  among  his  captors  :  **  the  first  to 
lay  hands  on  him  was  Pedro  Sanchez  Farfan,  a 
good  soldier,  and  I  handed  him  (Narvaez)  over  to 

After  his  victory  Cortes  returned  with  all  speed 
to  Mexico,  where  the  inhabitants  had  risen  in  arms 
with  the  purpose  of  avenging  the  inhuman  massacre 
carried  out  by  Pedro  de  Alvarado  in  the  precincts 
of  the  great  Teocalli,  which  Alonzo  de  Avila  pro- 
nounced   to    be   disgraceful,    saying  that    it   would 

^  The  author  says  that  there  were  nineteen,  but  the  Oidor  Lucas 
Vásqu^z  de  Ayllon,  who  accompanied  Narvaez,  writes  that  there 
were  sixteen.  (Hernan  Cortes,  Cartas y  Relaáoncs^  Paris,  1866, 
Page  42.)— G.  G. 



for  ever  remain  **an  ill  memory  in  New  Spain." 
Cortes  now  brought  with  him  over  thirteen 
hundred  soldiers,  eighty  crossbowmen  and  as  many 
musketeers,  and  ninety  mounted  men,  without 
counting  his  numerous  native  allies. 

Although  they  all  reached  the  great  Tenochtitlan 
**  on  the  day  of  San  Juan  de  Junio  (St.  John's  Day) 
in  the  year  1520"  they  could  not  make  a  stand 
against  the  Mexicans,  who,  under  the  command  of 
Cuitláhuac  and  Cuauhtemoc,  killed  the  greater 
number  of  the  invaders  and  forced  the  rest,  wounded 
and  ruined,  for  they  were  unable  to  save  the  riches 
they  had  collected,  to  flee  to  Tlaxcala.  The 
Tlaxcalans  received  them,  lodged  them  and 
attended  to  them  with  affection.  When  they  were 
somewhat  recovered,  the  Spaniards  began  Vandal- 
like forays  through  Tepeyácac,  Cachula,  Gua- 
cachula,  Tecamachalco,  the  town  of  the  Guayabos, 
Ozucar,  Xalacingo,  Zacatami,  and  other  places  in 
the  neighbourhood,  enslaving  and  branding  with 
a  hot  iron  all  the  youths  and  women  they  met  with  ; 
**  they  did  not  trouble  about  the  old  men  : "  the 
inhuman  mark  was  placed  '*on  the  face,*' and  not 
even  the  most  beautiful  young  woman  escaped  it. 

The  author  did  not  assist  in  all  these  forays 
because  **he  was  very  ill  from  fever,  and  was 
spitting  blood." 

Cortes  then  founded  a  second  city,  which  he 
named  Segura  de  la  Frontera. 

After  the  Spaniards  had  been  reinforced  by 
various  expeditions  that  had  come  from  Cuba,  they 


resolved  to  return  to  Mexico  to  recover  their  lost 
treasure,  and  they  forthwith  took  the  road  to 

They  took  with  them  many  thousands  of  native 

.When  the  headquarters  had  been  established 
at  Tetzcoco,  Cortes  opened  hostilities  by  an  assault 
on  Itztapalapa,  where  he  and  his  followers  nearly 
lost  their  lives  by  drowning,  for  the  Mexicans 
**  burst  open  the  canals  of  fresh  and  salt  water 
and  tore  down  a  causeway  : "  the  author  was  **  very 
badly  wounded  by  a  lance  thrust  which  they  gave 
me  in  the  throat  near  the  windpipe,  and  I  was  in 
danger  of  dying  from  it,  and  retain  the  scar  from  it 
to  this  day." 

Cortes  did  not  think  of  a  direct  attack  on 
Mexico,  he  understood  that  it  could  lead  to  no 
satisfactory  result ;  he  proposed  merely  to  invest 
the  city  and  reduce  it  by  starvation  ;  so  as  to  ac- 
complish this  he  had  entrusted  to  the  Tlaxcalans 
the  construction  of  thirteen  launches,  which  he 
anxiously  awaited. 

Meanwhile,  he  attacked  the  neighbouring  towns 
with  fire  and  sword.  The  author  did  not  join  in 
these  earlier  combats  as  he  was  still  ill  from  his 
dangerous  wound,  but  as  soon  as  it  healed,  he 
again  took  up  arms,  and  accompanied  Cortes, 
who  went  to  assist  the  natives  of  Chalco,  and 
distinguished  himself  among  the  most  intrepid 

On  his  side,   Cuauhtemoc,  who   was  now   Lord 



of  Mexico,  took  measures  for  the  defence  of  his 
country  with  unequalled  courage ;  he  had  obtained 
from  his  subjects  a  promise  **that  they  would  never 
make  peace,  but  would  either  all  die  fighting  or 
take  our  lives." 

The  strife  was  remarkably  prolonged  and  bloody, 
and  no  quarter  was  given. 

The  siege  began  on  the  21st  May,  1521,  and 
lasted  eighty-five  days.  Not  for  one  moment  did 
the  Mexicans  show  signs  of  discouragement,  not- 
withstanding the  scarcity  of  fresh  water  and 
provisions,  the  superiority  of  the  arms  of  the 
Spaniards,  and  the  immense  number  of  their 
native  allies  ;^  each  day  as  it  came  was  for  them 
as  the  first  day  of  the  strife,  so  great  was  the 
determination  and  the  strength  with  which  they 
appeared  on  the  field  of  battle,  and,  moreover,  they 
never  ceased  fighting  **from  dawn  to  dusk." 

When  the  greater  number  of  them  had  already 
perished,  the  few  who  still  remained  stoically 
resisted  thirst,  hunger,  weariness  and  pestilence 
in  the  defence  of  their  country,  and  even  then 
refused,  with  indomitable  fortitude,  the  proposals 
of  peace  which  Cortes  repeatedly  made  to  them. 
In  this  manner  only  did  they  die. 

The  army  which  was  to  attack  the  Mexicans  by 

^  The  author  makes  immoderate  efforts  to  lessen  the  number 
of  the  allies,  but  Cortes  informs  us  that  there  were  "  numberless 
people,"  **  an  infinite  number,"  "  which  could  not  be  counted," 
that  those  that  accompanied  him  alone  numbered  "  more  than 
one  hu»dred  and  fifty  thousand  m^n." — G.  G. 


land  was  divided  from  the  beginning  into  three 
sections.  It  fell  to  the  lot  of  the  author  to  serve 
in  that  of  Tlacopan,  commanded  by  Pedro  de 
Alvarado.  Many  times  Bernal  was  in  danger  of 
losing  his  life,  first  of  all  when  the  siege  had  just 
been  commenced ;  a  few  days  later  when  the 
Mexicans  succeeded  in  seizing  him,  **many  Indians 
had  already  laid  hold  of  me,  but  I  managed  to  get 
my  arm  free,  and  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  gave  me 
strength  so  that  by  some  good  sword  thrusts  that 
I  g^ve  them,  I  saved  myself,  but  I  was  badly 
wounded  in  one  arm  ;  "  on  another  occasion  they 
succeeded  in  taking  him  prisoner,  but  **  it  pleased 
God  that  I  should  escape  from  their  power ;  "  and, 
finally,  at  the  end  of  June  on  the  day  that  Cortes 
suffered  his  terrible  defeat,  the  author  received  **an 
arrow  wound  and  a  sword  thrust." 

The  siege  ended  on  the  13th  August,  1521,  with 
the  capture  of  the  north-east  corner  of  the  city, 
where  the  few  surviving  Mexicans  still  offered  a 
heroic  resistance. 

As  soon-  as  Cortes  was  master  of  the  Great 
Tenochtitlan,  he  got  together,  for  the  second  time, 
a  great  quantity  of  gold,  although  it  was  not  as 
much  as  he  had  acquired  before.  On  the  division 
being  made,  again  for  the  second  time  the  Spaniards 
were  profoundly  discontented,  for  they  found  that 
after  all  their  terrible  hardships  and  their  constant 
danger  of  death,  **  there  fell  to  the  share  of  a 
horseman  eighty  dollars,  and  to  that  of  the  cross- 
bowmen,   musketeers   and   shield   bearers  sixty  or 



fifty,  I  do  not  well  remember  which."  The  most 
annoying  thing  for  the  Spanish  adventurers  was 
**that  some  owed  fifty  or  sixty  dollars  for  cross- 
bows, and  others  fifty  dollars  for  a  sword,  and 
similarly  everything  that  we  bought  was  equally 
dear,  then  too  a  surgeon  named  Master  Juan,  who 
dressed  some  severe  wounds,  charged  an  exorbitant 
price  for  his  cures,  as  did  also  a  sort  of  quack 
doctor  named  Mur^ia,  who  was  an  apothecary  and 
barber  and  also  undertook  cures,  and  there  were 
thirty  other  traps  and  trickeries  for  which  we  were 
in  debt." 

The  author  continued  to  contract  debts  in  con- 
sequence, in  spite  of  his  sturdy  fighting  and  his 
many  and  serious  wounds.  ^ 

Although  his  expectations  had  not  been  fulfilled, 
Bernal  did  not  abandon  the  hope  of  mending  his 
fortunes,  which  had  brought  him  to  Mexico,  and 
he  accompanied  his  friend  Gonzalo  de  Sandoval 
to  the  conquest  of  Tuxtépec,  a  place  which, 
according  **  to  the  tribute  rolls  of  Montezuma," 
which  the  author  had  studied,  abounded  in  gold. 
When  he  arrived  there,  Sandoval  advised  him  to 
stay  there,  and  offered  him  in  allotment  **the  rich 
towns  of  Matlatan,  Orizaba  and  Ozotequipa  ;  but 
Bernal  refused,  '*  for  it  seemed  to  me  that  unless 
I  went  with  Sandoval  and  as  his  friend,  that  I 
should  not  be  doing  what  was  becoming  to  my 

He  passed  on  to  Coatzacoalcos,  where  the  town 
of  Espiritu  Santo  was  established,  and  here  Bernal 


settled,  for  on  the  20th  September,  1522,  Cortes 
gave  him  in  allotment  the  towns  of  **  Tlapa  and 
Potonchan,"  which  belonged  to  the  province  of 
Cimatan.  Neither  one  nor  the  other  proved  satis- 
factory to  him,  because  the  land  was  poor,  or  more 
probably  because  he  found  no  gold  there,  the  metal 
which  represented  the  only  acceptable  form  of 
riches  to  the  author  and  his  companions,  who  had 
migrated  on  that  very  account  from  the  Valley  of 
Mexico,  because  it  produced  **  merely  an  abundance 
of  maize  and  aloes." 

The  settlers  at  the  town  of  Espiritu  Santo  chose 
him  as  their  Magistrate,  a  clear  proof  of  the  esteem 
and  consideration  in  which  he  was  held. 

After  all,  the  new  life  that  Bernal  led  did  not 
free  him  from  frequent  turmoil ;  he  was  continually 
obliged  to  sally  forth  and  pacify  the  towns  in  the 
province,  and  this  was  not  without  risk,  for  on  one 
occasion  he  was  '*  struck  by  an  arrow  wound  in  the 
throat,  and  the  great  loss  of  blood,  for  at  the  time 
it  was  not  possible  either  to  bandage  [the  wound] 
or  staunch  the  flow,  greatly  endangered  my  life." 

During  Lent  in  the  year  1523  he  set  out  with 
Captain  Luis  Marin  to  fight  the  natives  of  Chiapas, 
**  the  greatest  warriors  that  I  had  seen  in  the  whole 
of  New  Spain,  although  that  includes  Tlaxcalans, 
Mexicans,  Zapotecs  and  Minxes." 

The  author  now  travelled  on  horseback — doubt- 
less his  towns  were  not  in  such  poor  land  as  he  had 

He   had   to   suffer   many  hardships   during   this 


expedition ;  the  people  of  Chiapas  fought  like 
"rabid  lions,"  and  in  Chamula  they  gave  him  "a 
good  blow  with  a  lance  which  pierced  my  armour, 
and  had  it  not  been  made  of  thick  cotton  and  well 
quilted,  they  would  have  killed  me,  for  good  as  it 
was  they  thrust  through  it  and  out  came  a  thick  wad 
of  cotton,  and  they  gave  me  a  slight  wound."  In 
spite  of  this  he  was  one  of  the  two  first  soldiers  who 
stormed  and  took  the  fortress  of  the  natives.  As  a 
reward  for  his  heroic  conduct  Luis  Marin  gave  him 
in  allotment  this  town  of  Chamula,  a  place  of  great 

On  the  return  to  Espiritu  Santo  he  fought  [a 
duel]  of  swords  with  Godoy  in  a  most  noble  cause, 
and  both  were  wounded. 

Bernal  did  not  enjoy  his  ease  for  long,  for  in 
obedience  to  an  order  from  Cortes,  whom  all  the 
Conquistadores  greatly  feared,  he  found  himself 
forced  to  follow  Rodrigo  Rangel  to  the  conquest 
of  the  Zapotecs ;  it  is  fair  to  say  that,  although  he 
did  so  unwillingly,  for  he  already  felt  wearied,  and 
Rangel  did  not  inspire  sympathy,  he  acquitted 
himself  with  great  efficiency  throughout  the  expe- 
dition, for  which  he  gained  honourable  praise.  It  was 
then^  when  the  natives  **had  hung  seven  arrows  on 
him,  which  only  failed  to  pierce  on  account  of  the 
thickness  of  the  cotton  armour,  and  nevertheless  I 
emerged  wounded  in  one  leg  ;"  he  would,  however. 

^  This  happened  in  a  subsequent  expedition  under  Rangel  in 


not  give  way,  but,  in  spite  of  all,  he  pursued  the 
natives  for  a  long  distance  until  **  they  took  refuge 
in  some  great  quaking  morasses  which  no  man  who 
entered  them  could  get  out  of  again  except  on  all 
fours  or  with  much  assistance.*'^ 

He  returned  to  Espiritu  Santo  without  having 
accomplished  anything  to  his  profit,  and  went  on  to 
Mexico,  where  he  was  present  on  the  i8th  or  19th 
June,  1524,  at  the  magnificent  reception  given  by 
Cortes  to  Fray  Martin  de  Valencia  and  his  twelve 
Franciscan  companions,  among  them  Fray  Toribio 
de  Benavente,  whom  the  Indians  named  Motolinia, 
**  which  means  in  their  language  the  poor  Friar,  for 
all  that  was  given  him  for  the  sake  of  God  he  gave 
to  the  Indians,  so  that  at  times  he  went  without 
food,  and  wore  very  ragged  garments  and  walked 
barefoot,  and  he  always  preached  to  them,  and  the 
Indians  loved  him  greatly  for  he  was  a  saintly 

The  author  returned  to  his  town  almost  at  once. 
He  was  there  at  the  end  of  October  in  the  same 
year  when  Cortes  arrived  on  his  way  to  the 
Hibueras,*  whither  he  was  going  personally,  re- 
solved to  punish  Cristobal  de  Olid,  who  had 

The  conqueror  was  followed  by  a  formidable 
army,  and  a  numerous  court  of  friars  and  clergy, 
doctors  and  surgeons,  major  domos,  waiters,  butlers, 
chamberlains,  stewards,  and  keepers  of  his  **  great 

^  Honduras. 


services  of  gold  and  silver,"  pages,  orderlies, 
huntsmen,  pipers,  trumpeters  and  fifers,  acrobats, 
conjurers,  puppet  players,  equerries  and  muleteers, 
and  **a  great  herd  of  pigs  that  they  ate  as  they 
went  along."  Among  the  soldiers  and  attendants 
of  Cortes  there  also  marched,  but  not  of  their 
own  will,  Cuauhtemoc  and  other  great  native 

When  Cortes  arrived  at  Coatzacoalcos  he  ordered 
all  the  settlers  to  go  with  him  to  the  Hibueras,  and 
it  was  owing  to  this  that  the  author  had  to  accom- 
pany him  :  nobody  would  have  then  dared  to 
disobey  Cortes. 

It  was  hard  luck  for  Bernal,  for  as  he  says  **  At 
the  time  when  we  should  have  been  resting  from 
our  great  labours  and  endeavouring  to  secure  some 
property  and  profit,  he  ordered  us  to  go  on  a 
journey  of  over  five  hundred  leagues,  the  greater 
part  of  it  through  hostile  country,  and  all  that  we 
possessed  we  left  behind  and  lost." 

Bernal  was  not  consoled  by  Cortes  appointing 
him  Captain  on  this  occasion,  nor  by  taking  his  own 
followers  with  him,  who  had  been  recruited  from  the 
towns  of  his  encomienda} 

While  the  author  marched  upon  Cimatán  at  the 
head  of  thirty  Spaniards  and  three  thousand  natives, 
Cortes  overran  the  towns  of  Tonalá  and  Ayagua- 

*  Encomienda  =  The  Indian  townships  and  land,  with  the 
Indians  necessary  for  its  cultivation,  assigned  or  allotted  to  a 


lulco,  crossed  a  neighbouring  estuary  after  throwing 
across  it  "  a  bridge  which  was  nearly  half  a  quarter 
of  a  league  long,  an  astonishing  feat,  in  the  way  they 
did  it,"  and  he  went  along  the  great  river  Mazapa 
to  the  towns  of  Iquinuapa  where  he  rejoined  the 

Together,  they  soon  passed  through  the  towns 
of  Copilco,  Nacaxuxuyca,  Zaguatan,  Tepetitan  and 
Itztapa.  Going  on  in  search  of  Hueyacalá,  or  **  the 
great  Acalá,  for  there  was  another  town  called 
Acalá  the  lesser,"  they  penetrated  into  the  forest 
[monte]  and  lost  their  way,  and  found  themselves 
then  compelled  to  clear  a  track  with  their  swords 
through  the  thick  undergrowth  ;  they  suffered  from 
hunger  and  four  Spaniards  and  many  of  the  natives 
died  from  it,  for  they  fell  down  '*as  though  in 
despair."  In  this  extremity  Bernal  and  Pero  Lopez 
saved  the  army,  for  they  found  the  lost  road  which 
soon  led  them  to  Temastépec.  The  pipers,  trum- 
peters and  fifers  no  longer  made  music,  for  **  they 
were  used  to  luxury  and  did  not  understand  hardship 
and  they  had  sickened  with  the  hunger ;  only 
one  of  them  had  the  spirit  to  play,  and  all  of  us 
soldiers  refused  to  listen  to  him,  and  said  that  it 
sounded  like  the  howling  of  foxes  and  coyotes  and 
that  it  would  be  better  to  have  maize  to  eat  than 

In  Ciguatepécad  the  author  and  Gonzalo  Mexia 
went  on  ahead  by  the  order  of  Cortes  to  win  over 
peacefully  the  inhabitants  of  Acalá,  a  mission  which 
Bernal,  on  his  part,  accomplished  satisfactorily,  for 

•  *• 


he  soon  returned  with  a  large  quantity  of  provisions ; 
but  as  the  soldiers  were  starving  they  seized  them 
all  and  fought  one  another  for  them.  In  vain  did 
the  Steward  cry  out  to  them  that  they  should  leave 
something  for  Cortes,  the  soldiers  answered  petu- 
lantly **you  and  Cortes  have  had  fine  pigs  to  eat." 
When  Cortes  heard  what  had  happened  he  put  up 
with  it,  and  asked  the  author  in  the  mildest  manner 
whether  he  had  not  left  a  little  of  the  food  hidden 
on  the  road,  and  ended  by  asking  him  most  humbly 
for  a  share  of  it.  The  author  consented  and 
generously  invited  him  to  partake  of  that  which 
he  had  reserved  for  himself  and  the  natives  from 
the  towns  of  his  encamtendas. 

The  army  entered  the  province  of  Acalá,  and 
there  at  Izancánac  Cortes  ordered  Cuauhtemoc  and 
his  cousin  Tetepanquetzatl,  the  lord  of  Tlacopan,  to 
be  hanged,  on  suspicion  of  engaging  in  a  conspiracy. 
The  author  tells  us  that  he  was  very  sorry  for  these 
great  princes,  and  adds,  **  their  death  was  very 
unjust  and  appeared  an  evil  thing  to  all  of  us,  who 
were  on  the  march."     This  was   at  Shrovetide  in 


Cortes  arrived  at  the  land  of  the  Mazatecas,  and 
after  passing  through  two  towns,  one  situated  on  an 
island  and  another  near  a  fresh-water  lake,  entered 
into  Tayasal.  A  little  further  on  Bernal  began  to 
feel  very  ill  **  from  fever  and  from  the  power  of  the 
sun  which  had  affected  my  head  and  all  my  body." 
In  this  condition,  nevertheless,  he  was  obliged  to 
cross  the  toilsome  range  of  the  Pedernales,  not  so 


very  lofty,  but  whose  stones  '*cut  like  knives."  In 
front  of  Tayca  a  river  **  which  one  could  clearly 
hear  two  leagues  off"  delayed  the  army  for  three 
days,  and  Cortes  threw  a  bridge  across  it  similar  to 
the  one  constructed  at  Ayagualulco,  bridges  which 
survived  for  many  years,  for  the  admiration  of 
travellers  who  were  accustomed  to  say,  *'here  are 
Cortes'  bridges  as  though  they  were  speaking  of  the. 
Pillars  of  Hercules." 

Agc^in  they  felt  the  pangs  of  hunger,  such  as  the 
author  had  never  before  experienced ;  he  suffered 
anguish  at  this  time  **  for  I  had  nothing  to  eat  or 
to  give  to  my  people  and  I  was  ill  with  fever." 
Cortes  ordered  him  nevertheless  to  go  out  and 
seek  for  food  for  the  army,  and  the  author,  rising 
superior  to  his  serious  infirmities,  obeyed  him. 
Guided  by  his  experience  and  sagacity,  he  was  not 
long  in  finding  poultry,  maize,  beans  and  **  other 
vegetables,"  with  which  he  promptly  supplied  all 
the  soldiers. 

They  went  on  to  Tania,  a  town  surrounded  by 
rivers  and  streams,  from  which  they  were  unable 
to  get  out,  for  once  more  they  lost  their  way. 
Cortes  despatched  several  Spaniards  to  find  it 
again,  but  without  result.  It  was  necessary  to 
confide  the  task  to  the  author,  in  spite  of  his  illness, 
for  after  God  it  was  in  him  **  that  he  had  confidence 
that  he  would  bring  help,"  and  when  he  brought  it, 
for  he  succeeded  in  finding  the  road  which  they 
were  to  follow,  Cortes  evinced  profound  gratitude, 
and  made  him  fair  promises ;  **  I  pledge  you,"  he 


told  him,  "  this,  my  beard,  that  I  owe  your  honour 
a  debt" 

The  conqueror  arrived  at  last  with  his  huge  army 
at  Ocoliztle,  a  town  quite  close  to  Naco,  where  he 
expected  to  fight  with  Cristobal  de  Olid ;  it  was 
not  until  then  he  learnt  that  he  (Olid)  had  had 
his  throat  cut  long  before  by  Gil  Gonzalez  de 
Avila  and  Francisco  de  las  Casas.  Nevertheless, 
before  returning  to  Mexico,  he  wished  to  leave  his 
rule  established  in  that  far  off  district,  his  boundless 
ambition  making  the  vast  territory  of  New  Spain 
appear  small  to  him.  Thus  he  founded  the  town 
of  La  Natividad,  '*  which  is  now  called  Puerto  de 
Caballos,"  and  obliged  the  natives  who  had  been 
scared  away  to  return  and  repopulate  Naco. 

While  this  was  happening,  news  was  received 
from  Mexico  that  the  Agent  Gonzalo  de  Salazar, 
after  spreading  the  report  that  Cortes  and  his 
soldiers  had  perished,  seized  their  property  and 
their  Indians  to  divide  them  among  his  partizans ; 
and  he  ordered  the  wives  who  had  become  widows 
to  pray  for  the  souls  of  their  husbands  and  promptly 
proceed  *'to  marry  again,  and  he  even  sent  to  say 
so  to  Gua9acualco  and  other  towns."  It  is  certain 
that  the  wife  of  Alonzo  Yánez,  an  inhabitant  of 
Mexico,  respected  the  order,  and  hurriedly  re- 

Nevertheless,  while  all  the  soldiers  were  in- 
dignant and  excited,  as  was  only  natural,  and 
prepared  themselves  to  return  as  fast  as  possible 
to  New  Spain  to  recover  their  wives,  their  Indians 


and  their  property,  and  even  cursed  Cortes  and 
Salazar,  "and  our  hearts  throbbed  with  anger," 
Cortes,  formerly  energetic,  prompt  and  venture- 
some to  rashness,  now  weak,  irresolute  and  timid, 
confined  himself  to  weeping  disconsolately,  shutting 
himself  up  for  long  hours  in  his  room,  and  permit- 
ting no  one  to  see  him :  overmuch  power  had 
weakened  his  character.  When  at  last  he  came 
out  of  his  room,  the  soldiers  unanimously  addressed 
him  and  entreated  him  to  embark  at  once  in  the 
three  ships  that  were  there  and  go  to  New  Spain, 
and  he  answered  us  very  affectionately :  **  Oh  my 
children  and  companions,  I  see  on  one  side  that 
evil  man,  the  Agent,  has  become  very  powerful,  and 
I  fear  that  when  he  knows  that  we  are  in  the  port, 
he  will  do  some  other  shameless  and  daring  things 
to  us  beyond  what  he  has  already  done,  or  he  will 
kill  or  drown  me,  or  make  me  and  all  of  you 
prisoners."  The  abundant  riches  which  Cortes  now 
possessed  made  him  love  life  too  much. 

Selfishly  abandoning  the  bulk  of  his  army,  he  set 
out  on  the  sea  with  a  few  followers.  The  author 
had  begged  him  very  urgently  to  take  him  in  his 
company  ;  he  had  an  abundant  right  to  ask  this 
and  other  much  greater  favours,  but  Cortes,  ever 
deaf  to  gratitude,  left  him  there  to  return  by  land. 

So  by  land  he  went,  once  more  suffering  daily 
hardships,  and  having  also  to  fight  against  the 
natives.  He  passed  through  Maniani  and  Cho- 
lulteca-Malalaca,  the  Chaparrastiques,  Cuzcatlan  or 
Cascacatan,  whose  inhabitants  gave  him  an  arrow 


wound,  Petapa,  Guatemala,  Olnítépec,  Soconusco, 
Tehuan tepee,  Oaxaca  and  Mexico.  He  entered 
the  capital  in  the  beginning  of  1527,  after  a  most 
laborious  march  extending  over  more  than  **  two 
years  and  three  months,"  during  which  he  had 
served  throughout  **  very  well  and  loyally  "  without 
receiving  **  pay  or  any  favour  whatever."  He 
returned  poor,  in  debt,  and  with  ragged  clothes. 
Andres  de  Tápia  received  him  in  his  house,  and 
Gonzalo  de  Sandoval  sent  him  garments  with 
which  to  clothe  himself,  **  and  gold  and  cacao  to 

At  this  time  Marcos  de  Aguilar  was  governing 
New  Spain,  and  Bernal  begged  him  to  give  him 
Indians  in  Mexico  as  those  of  Coatzacoalcos  *'  were 
of  no  profit."  Aguilar  merely  made  him  fine 
promises,  alleging  that  he  had  not  yet  received 
power  to  apportion  Indians. 

During  the  same  year  Aguilar  was  succeeded  by 
Alonzo  de  Estrada,  first  of  all  in  company  with 
Sandoval  and  afterwards  alone,  whose  rule  was 
very  unfortunate  for  the  author  ;  under  it  Baltazar 
Osorio  and  Diego  de  Mazariegos  turned  him  out 
**by  force"  from  his  encomiendas  of  Micapy,  Tlapa 
and  Chamula,  to  the  end  that  they  might  be 
incorporated  in  the  new  towns  of  Chiapas  and 

The  author,  finding  it  impossible  **  to  carry  on 
lawsuits  with  two  towns,"  went  to  Estrada  to  obtain 
justice,  and  got  from  him,  dated  3rd  April,  1528, 
the  encomUnda   **of  the  towns  of  Gualpitán  and 


Micapa,  which  are  in  the  Cachulco  range,  and  used 
to  be  subject  to  Cimatán,  and  of  Popoloatán  in  the 
province  of  Citla."  Nevertheless,  the  author  was 
not  satisfied  owing  to  the  fact  that  these  towns  were 
of  little  importance,  and  did  not  nearly  compensate 
him  for  the  loss  of  Tlapa,  which  contained  '*more 
than  a  thousand  houses,"  and  that  of  Chamula, 
which  numbered  **more  than  four  hundred,  and  the 
farms  more  than  two  hundred." 

At  the  end  of  this  same  year,  1528,  Estrada  was 
succeeded  by  the  First  Audtencia,^  which  wished 
to  proceed  at  once  to  the  perpetual  assignment^  of 
the  Indians,  and  with  this  object  ordered  the  cities 
and  towns  settled  by  Spaniards  to  appoint  attorneys 
to  come  to  the  Capital.  The  arrangement  could 
not  have  been  more  opportune  nor  more  agreeable 
for  Bernal,  who  could  now  believe  with  good  reason 
that  his  labours  and  his  poverty  were  soon  going  to 
cease.  He  set  out  in  all  haste  for  Espiritu  Santo, 
and  was  successful  in  arranging  that  the  settlers 
should  entrust  him  with  their  authority,  and  he 
returned  at  once  to  Mexico.  However,  the  much 
talked  of  division  came  to  nothing,  and  the  judges, 
far  from  favouring  Bernal,  imprisoned  him  twice  on 
despicable  pretexts,  together  with  other  old  Con- 
quistadores.  He  was  obliged  at  last  to  return  to 
Coatzacoalcos,  persuaded  that  he  would  obtain  no 
protection  from  the  First  Audiencia,  and  that  he 
must  resign  himself  to  live  there  **in  the  midst  of 

*  Audiencia  =  a  Council  of  Government. 

*  The  "  Repartimiento." 


want/'  but  maintaining  **  his  high  honour,  and 
seeing  to  it  that  he  lived  uprightly  and  without 
indulging  in  any  vice,"  and  justly  enjoying  **  a  very 
good  reputation." 

When  tht  First  Audiencia  retired  in  the  month 
of  January  1531,  the  honest  members  of  the  Second 
Audiencia  assumed  control,  and,  as  they  appreciated 
the  merits  of  the  author,  they  nominated  him 
Visitador  General  of  Coatzacoalcos  and  Tabasco, 
and  they  entrusted  to  him  the  delimitation  of  both 
those  settlements,  a  duty  which  he  carried  out  with 
prudence  in  company  with  the  stipendiary  Benito 
Lopez.  Encouraged  by  these  distinctions,  and 
trusting  in  the  rectitude  of  the  Second  Audiencia, 
Bernal  approached  it  [with  a  request]  that  he  should 
be  given  some  Indian  towns  in  compensation  for 
those  **that  had  been  taken  from  him  by  force," 
but  the  Judges  told  him  that  ** unless  the  order 
came  from  his  Majesty  in  Spain  they  were  not  able 
to  give  them." 

In  the  year  1535  the  first  Viceroy,  Don  Antonio 
de  Mendoza,  arrived  in  Mexico,  and  Bernal  ap- 
proached him  also  with  the  same  demand,  and 
again  met  with  a  similar  refusal. 

However,  if  adversity  and  deception  never  ceased 
to  lay  in  wait  for  and  wound  the  author,  he,  on  the 
other  hand,  never  gave  way  to  their  blows,  and 
always  knew  how  to  preserve  his  energy  undi- 
minished. It  must  certainly  have  been  towards 
^535  when,  in  spite  of  having  already  reached  the 
age  of  forty-three  years,  and  feeling  **  very  weary 


and  poor/*  he  married  Teresa  Becerra,  the  eldest 
legitimate  daughter  of  Captain  Bartolomé  Becerra, 
a  Conquistador  of  Guatemala,  and  the  first  regular 
Mayor  of  that  city.  By  this  marriage  Bernal 
had  several  sons  and  daughters,  the  eldest  being 
Francisco,  who  was  born  a  year  after  the  wedding. 

Bernal  had  already  born  to  him  other  children  by 
a  native  woman,  who  was  perhaps  that  beautiful  girl 
he  had  begged  from  Montezuma  through  the  good 
offices  of  the  page  Orteguilla.  Baltasar  Dorantes 
de  Carranza  knew  a  '*  Diego  Diaz  de  Castillo,  a 
half-caste"  and  a  natural  son  of  Bernal,  and  Philip  1 1 
mentions  in  a  Royal  Decree  some  brothers  of  this 

The  author  proved  to  be  an  excellent  father  of 
a  family,  the  greatest,  in  fact  the  chief,  anxiety 
throughout  his  life,  was  not  having  the  means  with 
which  to  secure  the  future  of  his  wife  and  children  ; 
he  constantly  mentions  this  subject  in  all  his  letters, 
as  well  as  in  the  True  History. 

As  Bernal's  difficulties  necessarily  increased  with 
his  growing  family,  and  he  knew  by  sad  experience 
that  he  could  hope  for  nothing  from  those  governing 
New  Spain,  he  resolved  to  go  to  Court  to  beg  for 
justice  from  the  Lords  of  the  Royal  Council.  Cortes 
and  the  Viceroy  gave  him  letters  of  recommen- 
dation to  them  with  which,  and  the  authenticated 
record  of  his  merits  and  services,  he  arrived  in 
Spain  about  1540.  Once  there,  he  presented  his 
petition  in  [proper]  form.  The  Lords  of  the  Royal 
Council  ordered  it  to  be  handed  over  to  the  Fiscal, 



the  Licentiate  Don  Juan  de  Villalobos,  who  declared 
openly  and  frankly,  for  some  reason  of  which  we 
know  nothing,  that  he  would  not  allow  him  any- 
thing, because  **he  had  not  been  a  Conquistador 
such  as  he  asserted." 

The  Fiscal  doubly  offended  the  author,  because 
at  the  same  time  that  he  ignored  his  services  given 
during  so  many  years  with  painful  toil  and  in 
frequent  danger  of  death,  he  treated  him  publicly 
as  an  impostor,  him  who  judged  and  proclaimed 
the  truth  to  be  **  a  thing  blessed  and  holy.'* 

This  disillusion  was  without  any  doubt  the  most 
painful  of  all  the  author's  sufferings.  Fortunately 
the  Lords  of  the  Royal  Council  took  no  notice  of 
the  Fiscal's  pleading  in  settling  the  matter,  and 
issued  a  writ  on  the  15th  April,  1541,  advising  that 
a  Royal  Decree  should  be  given  to  the  author 
addressed  to  the  Viceroy  of  New  Spain,  to  the  end 
that  **  he  should  examine  the  quality  and  number  of 
the  towns  which  had  been  given  to  the  said  Bernal 
Diaz  and  which  he  held  possessed  and  which  were 
taken  away  from  him  to  form  the  townships  of 
Chiapas  and  Tabasco,  and  should  give  him  in 
recompense  for  them  other  towns  of  the  same  kind 
and  as  good  in  the  same  province  so  that  he  might 
gain  profit  therefrom  during  his  Majesty's  pleasure." 

The  Decree  was  issued  two  months  later,  together 
with  another  to  the  same  effect,  which  was  addressed 
to  Pedro  de  Alvarado,  the  Governor  of  Guatemala, 
which  the  author  asked  for  with  a  view  of  obtaining 
the   new    towns    in    either   of   the   two  provinces, 


wherever   they  could    most   promptly   be   granted. 

Provided    with    these    two    Decrees    he    returned 

immediately   to    the    New    World.       He   obtained 

nothing  in  New   Spain,  but,  when  he  went  on   to 

Guatemala,  the  Licentiate  Alonzo  Maldonado,  who 

was  Governor  on  the  death  of  Alvarado,  assigned 

him    the    towns    of    Zacatépec,   Joanagacapa    and 

Misten,  which  were  clearly  of  **  little  worth,"  and 

promised  him  that  as  soon  as  there  were   others 

of  greater  importance  he  would  give  them  to  him 

and  put  him  in  charge  of  them.     As  the  promise 

was  never  realised,  Bernal  never  escaped  from  his 

life  of  poverty. 

^  Without  any  incidents  worth  recording — at  least 

so  far  as  is  known  to  us — time  went  on  until  1550, 

in  which  year  Bernal  was  summoned  to   Spain  to 

assist  at  the  Congress  of  Valladolid,  in  the  character 

of  *'  the  oldest  Conquistador  of  New  Spain."     He 

went  there,  joined  in  the  Congress  and  voted  for 

-.  the  perpetual  assignment  of  the   Indians,  in.  spite 

\  of  having   heard  the  humanitarian  and  persuasive 

arguments  alleged  against  it  by  the  eminent  Fray 

Bartolomé  de  las  Casas  and  his  worthy  companions 

'  Fray  Rodrigo  de  Labrada  and  Fray  Tomás  de  San 

^  Martin  ;  his  own  poverty  was  a  stronger  argument. 

J  Bernal  utilised  his  short  stay  at  Court  to  obtain 

a  Royal    Decree,  dated  the    ist   December,    1550, 

ordering    the     Licentiate  Alonzo    Lopez    Zerrato, 

\  President  of  the  Audiencia  of  Guatemala,  to  carry 

^  out  the  previous  Decree  recorded  in  1541,  and  have 

it  respected. 


On  the  I  St  September,  1551,  the  author  exhibited 
his  new  Decree  before  the  Licentiate  Lopez  Zerrato, 
who  unfortunately  did  not  execute  it,  in  spite  of 
having  that  very  day  taken  it  in  his  hands,  examined 
it  and  placed  it  above  his  head  as  was  the  custom, 
to  show  that  he  would  obey  it  and  carry  it  out. 

We  say  that  he  did  not  carry  it  out,  because  a 
year  later  Bernal  wrote  to  his  Majesty  that  the  said 
Licentiate  cared  only  to  give  assignments  **  to  his 
relations,  servants  and  friends,"  without  taking  any 
notice  of  the  Conqutstadores  who  had  won  [the 
country]  **  by  their  sweat  and  blood ; "  on  this 
account  the  author  prays  that  his  Majesty  may  be 
pleased  to  order  him  to  be  admitted  **  into  his 
Royal  house  as  one  of  his  servants/' 

This  petition  shows  that  Bernal  did  not  harbour 
any  hope  of  improving  his  miserable  lot.  Here  he 
nevertheless  remained,  for  he  did  not  succeed  in 
being  admitted  into  the  number  of  his  Majesty's 

Moreover,  if  it  had  not  been  possible  for  him  to 
prosper  during  youth  and  middle  life,  it  was  still  less 
so  now  that  he  was  entering  on  old  age,  and  we 
find,  as  was  natural  and  even  to  be  expected,  that 
he  writes  to  Fray  Bartolomé  de  las  Casas,  on 
20th  February,  1558,  that  he  was  still  "very 
straightened  as  he  possessed  so  little  property."^ 

^  As  the  author  then  adds  that  he  was  "  heavily  burdened  by 
children  and  grandchildren,"  and  that  he  had  a  young  wife,  it  is 
not  hazardous  to  think  that  he  had  recently  contracted  a  second 
marriage,  etc. — G.  G. 


It  must  have  been  a  great  consolation  to  him 
that  he  continued  to  be  esteemed  and  respected  in 
Guatemala.  He  had  not  ceased  to  be  a  Magistrate, 
and  this  same  year  he  was  elected  "  arbitrator  and 
executor,"  and  he  had  been  named  the  previous 
year  to  carry  the  banner  on  the  feast  of  Santa 
Cecilia,  an  honour  which  was  again  conferred  on 
him  in  1560,  on  the  occasion  of  the  feast  of  Saint 
James  the  Apostle.^  The  affection  and  consideration 
which  all  the  persons  who  knewliim  had  for  Bernal 
Diaz  was  owing  to  his  ** charming  conversation" 
and  noble  sentiments,  but  principally  to  the  fact 
that  in  spite  of  his  poverty,  he  always  managed  to 
live  ''with  great  dignity." 

Thus  then,  poor  enough,  although  much  loved 
and  esteemed,  fearing  no  one,  he  dedicated  himself 
to  the  writing  of  his  True  History  when  he  was 
over  seventy  years  of  age,  convinced  that  in  the 
history  of  the  world  there  was  no  more  daring 
deed  than  the  conquest,  nor  more  heroic  men  in 
existence  than  the  Conquistadores,  resigned  to  not 
having  received  the  reward  which  was  justly  due 
to  him,  free  from  pessimism,  rancour  and  regrets, 
with  a  perfectly  tranquil  conscience,  with  an  ex- 
ceptional memory  and  an  intelligence  uncommon 
in  its  full  vigour.  His  work  was  now  and  then 
interrupted  by  visits  to  the  towns  assigned  to  him, 
sometimes  accompanied  by  friends.  Neither  travel 
nor  change  of  climate  broke  down  his  health  ;   he 

^  Garcia  Peláez.  Memoria  para  la  Historia  del  Antiguo  Reyno 
de  Guatemala,    Guatemala,  1851-52,  vol.  ii,  page  227.— G.  G, 


himself  tells  us  that  even  at  that  time  he  did  not 
use  a  bed,  from  habit  acquired  during  the  conquest, 
nor  was  he  able  to  sleep  unless  he  walked  ''some  , 
time  in  the  open  air,  and  this  without  any  covering 
on  his  head,  neither  cap  nor  kerchief,  and,  thanks 
to  God,  it  did  me  no  harm."  With  all  this,  he 
also  tells  us,  not  perhaps  without  exaggeration,  that 
by  that  time  he  had  **lost  his  sight  and  hearing." 
He  had  penned  but  little  of  the  History  when  the 
Chronicles  composed  by  Paulo  Giovio,  Francisco 
Lopez  de  Gómara  and  Gonzalo  de  lUescas^  came 
into  his  hands.  As  soon  as  he  began  to  read  them, 
**and  observed  from  their  good  style  the  roughness 
and  lack  of  polish  of  my  language,"  he  gave  up 
writing  his  History.  However,  when  the  first 
impression  had  faded,  he  returned  to  their  perusal, 
and  was  then  able  to  decide  that  they  spoke  truth 
neither  in  the  beginning,  nor  the  middle,  nor  the 
end,  and  for  this  reason  he  definitely  resolved  to 
continue*  his  own  work.  Probably  this  did  not 
happen  before  1566,  for  Bernal  knew  no  Latin, 
and  could  not,  therefore,  understand  the  Chronicle 
of  Giovio  until  Baeza  published  his  translation  in 

However  that  may  be,  it  is  clear  that  in  the  year 
1568  he  made  the  fair  copy  of  the  True  History, 

We  know  nothing  more   of  his   life.     We   can 

^  The  work  of  Giovio  was  published  in  Latin  in  1550-52,  and 
translated  into  Spanish  by  Caspar  de  Baeza  in  1566  ;  Gomara 
printed  his  Chronicle  in  1552-53,  and  Illescas  published  his  in 
1564.     All  three  soon  went  through  several  editions. — G.  G. 

\  •'^  r 

'.   i        -  '  r 


only  add  that  the  author  died  in  Guatemala  about 
1 58 1,  poor  as  he  had  lived,  leaving  his  numerous 
family  no  riches  except  **his  true  and  wonderful 
story/*  which  was,  nevertheless,  the  chief  title  to 
glory  for  his  descendants,  for  in  it  was  enshrined 
his  fair  name  of  honourable  Conquistador  and 
genial  Historian. 

The  original  manuscript  of  the  Trm  History 
forms  a  large  folio  volume,  containing  297  leaves 
in  an  old  leather  binding.  Although  it  is  generally 
in  a  fairly  good  condition,  there  are  some  leaves 
partly  destroyed,  principally  those  at  the  beginning 
and  at  the  end. 

All  the  writing,  which  covers  both  sides  of  the 
leaves,  is  in  the  handwriting  of  the  author ;  on 
some  pages  it  is  well  done  and  normal,  on  others 
careless  and  irregular.  The  author  could  not  have 
preserved  the  same  composure  throughout  the  long 
time  occupied  in  writing  his  work. 

The  principal  subject  of  this  work  is  the  Con- 
quest **of  New  Spain  and  its  provinces  and  the 
Cape  of  Honduras  and  all  that  lies  within  these 
lands."  Those  who  tax  Bernal  with  vanity  and 
conceit  suppose  that  when  he  began  the  True 
History  his  only  object  was  to  tell  about  himself, 
an  entirely  gratuitous  supposition,  for  the  author 
frequently  chronicles  a  series  of  years,  without 
including  one  of  his  personal  deeds.  His  work 
begins  within  the  year  15 14  and  ends  with  that 
of  1568.      He  divides  it  into  214  chapters,  perhaps 


intending  to  finish  it  with  Chapter  ccxii,  at 
the  end  of  which  he  placed  his  signature  and 
rubrical  but  he  changed  his  intention,  and  wrote 
two  new  chapters  in  the  same  year  in  which  he  h^d 
written  Chapter  ccxii,  namely,  the  year  1568. 
He  still  intended  to  write  another,  or  others,  for 
he  declares  at  the  end  of  Chapter  ccxiv :  '*  It 
will  be  well  in  another  chapter  to  speak  of  the 
Archbishops  and  Bishops  that  there  have  been." 
Surely  Bernal  did  not  finish  his  work,  unless  one 
assumes  the  loss  of  the  final  pages,  which  /is  not 
probable.  The  binder  who  bound  up  the  manu- 
script understood  little  of  the  composition  of 
ancient  writings,  and  attached  to  the  last  folio  the 
leaf  which  contained  the  signature  of  the  author. 

Bernal  did  not  pretend  to  be  a  man  of  letters ; 
he  confesses  his  slight  knowledge  of  literature,  and 
on  this  account  humbly  begs  the  indulgence  of  his 
readers :  **  May  your  honours  pardon  me  in  that  I 
cannot  express  it  better."  Nevertheless,  his  mode 
of  speech  is  still  current  to-day,  and  is  interesting 
and  expressive,  in  spite  of  the  immoderate  use  of 
copulative  conjunctions,  of  its  almost  complete  want 
of  imagery,  its  words  with  variable  spelling,  either 
obsolete  or  incorrect,  its  semi-arbitrary  punctuation, 
its  erroneous  concordances,  its  strange  contractions 
and  its  unusual  abbreviations. 

1  Rubrica^  the  flourish  which  then  and  at  the  present  time 
forms  part  of  a  signature  among  Spaniards. 




OUR  eye-witnesses  of  thediscovery 
and  conquest  of  Mexico  have  left , 
written  records  : — 

Hernando  Cortes,  who  wrote  five 

letters  known  as  the  Cartas  de  Re- 

lacion  to  the  Emperor  Charles  V. 

The  First  of  these  letters,  despatched  from  Vera 

Cruz,  has  never  been  found,  but  its  place  is  supplied 

by- a  letter  written  to  the  Emperor  at  the  same  time 

by  the  Municipality  of  Vera  Cruz,  dated  "loth  July, 


'    The  Second  letter,  from  Segura  de  la  Frontera 

(Tepeaca),  is  dated  30th  October,  1 5  20. 

The  Third  letter  was  written  from  Coyoacan,  and 
dated  15th  May,  1522. 

The   Fourth   letter    was   written    from    the    city 
of  Temixtitan  (Mexico),   and  dated    15th  October, 


The     Fifth     letter,     written     from     Temixtitan 


(Mexico),  dated  3rd  September,  1526,  deals  with 
the  march  to  Honduras. 

The  Anonymous  Conqueror  whose  identity  has 
never  been  ascertained. 

The  original  of  this  document  is  lost,  and  its 
contents  are  preserved  to  us  in  an  Italian  trans- 
lation. It  deals  only  with  the  customs,  arms,  food, 
religion,  buildings,  etc.,  of  the  inhabitants  of  the 
city  of  Mexico,  and  adds  nothing  to  our  knowledge 
of  events  during  the  Conquest. 

Andres  de  Tápia,  whose  short  but  interesting 
account  of  the  expedition  under  Cortes  ends  with 
the  defeat  of  Narvaez. 

This  document  was  only  brought  to  light  during 
the  last  century. 

Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  whose  stirring  and 
picturesque  narrative  is  given  in  the  following 

To  these  may  be  added  the  Itinerario  de  Grijalva, 
an  account  written  by  the  chaplain  who  accom- 
panied Grijalva  on  his  expedition  when  the  coast  of 
Mexico  was  first  discovered ;  but  this  account  ends 
with  the  return  of  the  expedition  to  Cuba,  and  does 
not  deal  with  the  conquest  of  the  country. 

The  original  of  this  document  has  been  lost,  and 
it  comes  down  to  us  in  an  Italian  translation.  If 
the  title  is  correct,  it  must  have  been  written  by  the 
priest  Juan  Diaz  who  accompanied  the  expedition. 
It  seems  to  be  written  in  a  hostile  spirit,  and  its 
statements  should  be  received  with  caution. 

Many   writers    followed    during    the    next   forty 


years  who  had  conversed  with  actors  in  the 
events,  and  some  of  whom  had  heard  the  story 
from  the  mouths  of  the  conquered  Indians,  and 
much  additional  information  was  thus  added  to  the 
record  ;  but  for  a  vivid  impression  of  this  daring 
plunge  into  the  unknown,  and  the  triumphant 
struggle  of  an  isolated  handful  of  Spaniards  against 
a  powerful  and  warlike  race,  we  must  rely  on  the 
accounts  given  by  those  two  great  soldiers  and 
adventurers,  leader  and  follower,  Hernando  Cortes 
and  Bernal  Diaz  del  Castillo. 

The  scene  of  the  principal  part  of  Bernal  Diaz's^ 
narrative  lies  within  the  southern  half  of  the  present 
republic  of  Mexico,  Western  Central  America  and 
the  peninsula  of  Yucatan,  a  land  wholly  within 
the  tropics,  which,  however,  owing  to  its  physical 
conformation,  furnishes  almost  every  variety  ofj 

A  great  range  of  volcanic  mountains  runs  almost 
continuously  through  Mexico  and  the  greater  part 
of  Central  America,  near  the  Pacific  Coast  and 
parallel  to  it.  A  second  range  of  mountains,  not 
so  continuous  and  distinct,  runs  almost  parallel  to 
the  Atlantic  coast.  The  whole  of  the  interior  of 
the  country  between  these  two  ranges  may  be  said 
to  be  mountainous  but  intersected  by  many  high- 
lying  plains  from  4000  to  8000  feet  above  sea  level, 
which  form  one  of  the  most  characteristic  features 
of  the  country.  These  plains  are  sometimes  seamed 
with  narrow  barranca^  hundreds  of  feet  in  depth, 

^  Canyons,  ravines. 


often  with  precipitous  sides,  caused  by  the  washing 
away  of  the  thick  covering  of  light  volcanic  ash 
down  to  the  bed  rock.  In  common  speech  the 
land  is  divided  into  the  tierra  caliente,  the  tierra 
templada,  and  the  tierra  fria,  the  hot,  temperate  and 
cold  lands.  As  the  slope  of  the  mountains  is  rather 
more  gradual  towards  the  Atlantic  than  towards  the 
Pacific,  the  tierra  caliente  is  more  extensive  in  the 
former  direction.  Three  volcanic  peaks,  Orizaba, 
Popocatepetl  and  Ixtacihuatl,  almost  in  the  middle 
of  Southern  Mexico,  rise  above  the  line  of  per- 
petual snow  and  reach  a  height  of  about  17,000 
feet,  and  several  of  the  somewhat  lower  peaks  are 
snow-capped  during  some  months  of  the  year.  None 
of  the  rivers  of  Mexico  west  of  the  Isthmus  of 
Tehuan tepee  are  navigable  in  the  sense  of  being 
highways  of  commercial  importance.  Passing  to 
the  east  of  the  Isthmus  of  Tehuan  tepee  the  country 
of  Chiapas  and  Guatemala  does  not  differ  materially 
in  its  general  characteristics  from  that  already  de- 
scribed, with  the  exception  that  the  rivers  are 
relatively  of  greater  importance,  and  the  waters 
of  the  Usumacinta  and  Grijalva  form  innumerable 
lagoons  and  swamps  before  entering  the  Gulf  of 

North  and  west  of  the  Usumacinta  and  its  tribu- 
taries, the  land,  with  the  exception  of  the  Cockscomb 
range  in  British  Honduras,  is  all  low,  and  the 
peninsula  of  Yucatan  appears  to  be  little  more 
than  a  coral  reef  slightly  raised  above  sea  level. 
There   are    no    rivers,    for    the    rain   sinks   easily 


through  the  porous  limestone  rock,  and  the  natives 
have  often  to  seek  their  drinking  water  loo  feet 
or  more  below  the  surface  in  the  great  cenotes 
{tznótes)  or  limestone  caverns. 

The  sea  round  the  north  and  west  coast  of  the 
peninsula  is  very  shallow,  the  lOO  fathom  line 
being  in  some  parts  as  much  as  ninety  miles  distant 
from  the  shore. 

The  wet  season  in  Mexico  and  Central  America 
may  (subject  to  local  variations)  be  said  to  extend 
from  June  to  October,  but  it  lasts  somewhat  longer 
on  the  Atlantic  than  on  the  Pacific  slope.  During 
these  months  the  rainfall  is  often  very  heavy,  the 
States  of  Tabasco  and  Vera  Cruz  probably  receiving 
the  larger  amount. 

During  the  winter  months  occasional  strong  cold 
gales  sweep  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  from  the  North, 
the  dreaded  Norte  so  often  mentioned  in  Bernal 
Diaz's  narrative.  This  wind  causes  some  dis- 
comfort even  on  the  high  plateau  of  the  tierra 
temþladay  which,  notwithstanding  this  drawback, 
may  safely  be  said  to  possess  one  of  the  most 
perfect  climates  in  the  world. 

The  first  question  always  asked  regarding  the 
Conquest  is,  "Who  were  the  Mexicans,  and  how 
did  they  get  to  Mexico  ? "  and  to  these  questions 
no  certain  answer  can  be  given.  All  that  can  be 
said  is  that  the  whole  American  race,  although 
it  may  have  originated  from  more  than  one  stock, 
reached  America  in  a  very  early  stage  of  human 
development,  and  that  the  Nahua  tribes  to  which 

xlviii         INTRODUCTION    BY    THE    TRANSLATOR. 

Mexicans  belong  came  from  the  north-west  coasts 
which  is  generally  assumed  to  have  been  the 
earliest  home  of  the  American  race.  Whether 
the  people  came  from  Asia  at  a  time  when  the 
Northern  continents  were  continuous  is  a  question 
not  easily  settled,  but  if  such  were  the  case,  the 
migration  must  have  taken  place  before  the  cul- 
tivation of  cereal  crops  or  the  smelting  of  iron 
ore  was  known  to  the  Northern  Asiatics,  for  no 
iron  implements  were  found  in  America,  and  na 
cereal  was  found  there  that  was  known  in  the 
East,  the  only  cereal  cultivated  in  America  being 
the  Indian  corn  or  maize,  and  this  is  clearly  of 
indigenous  origin. 

It  is,  therefore,  not  necessary  to  consider  further 
such  a  very  distant  connection,  if  such  existed, 
between  the  extreme  east  and  west. 

There  is,  of  course,  the  possibility  of  isolated 
drifts  from  Asia  to  America;  several  instances  of 
Polynesians  having  drifted  in  their  canoes  almost 
incredible  distances  in  the  Pacific  are  on  record, 
and  derelict  junks  have  been  known  to  reach  the 
coast  of  America ;  but  the  survivors  of  such  drifts^ 
although  they  may  have  introduced  a  new  game  or 
some  slight  modification  of  an  existing  art,  are  not 
likely  to  have  aflFected  very  materially  the  develop- 
ment of  American  culture. 

The  waves  of  migration  from  north  to  south,, 
due  probably  to  pressure  of  population  or  search 
for  supplies  of  food,  must  necessarily  have  been 
intermittent   and    irregular,    and    must    have  been 


broken  up  by  numerous  cross  currents  due  to 
natural  obstacles.  It  seems  natural  to  speak  of  a 
wave  of  migration,  and  to  treat  it  as  though  it 
followed  the  laws  governing  a  flow  of  water ;  but 
to  make  the  simile  more  complete  we  must  imagine 
not  a  flow  of  water,  but  of  a  fluid  liable  to  marked 
chemical  change  due  to  its  surroundings,  which 
here  may  slowly  crystallise  into  a  stable  form,  and 
there  may  boil  over  with  noticeable  energy,  re- 
dissolving  adjacent  crystals  and  mixing  again  with 
a  neighbouring  stream.  There  is  no  reason  to 
suppose  that  this  process  had  not  been  going  on 
in  America  as  long  as  it  had  in  other  parts  of 
the  world,  but  there  we  are  often  helped  to 
understand  the  process  by  written  or  carved 
records,  which  go  back  for  hundreds  and  even 
thousands  of  years,  whereas  in  America  written 
records  are  almost  non-existent,  and  carved  records 
are  confined  to  a  small  area,  and  both  are  almost 

In  Mexico  and  Central  America  accepted  tra- 
dition appears  to  begin  with  the  arrival  of  the 
Toltecs,  a  branch  of  the  Nahua  race,  and  history 
with  that  of  the  later  Nahua  tribes,  but  as  to  who 
the  people  were  whom  the  Toltecs  found  in  pos- 
session of  the  country,  tradition  is  silent. 

The  commonly  accepted  story  is  that  the  Toltecs, 
whose  capital  was  at  Tula,  were  a  people  of  con- 
siderable civilisation,  who,  after  imparting  some- 
thing of  their  culture  to  ruder  Nahua  hordes  that 
followed  them  from  the  North,  themselves  migrated 


to  Guatemala  and  Yucatan,  where  they  built  the 
great  temples  and  carved  the  monuments  which 
have  been  so  often  described  by  modern  travellers. 
I  am  not,  however,  myself  able  to  accept  this 
explanation  of  the  facts  known  to  us.  The  monu- 
ments and  architectural  remains  of  Guatemala  and 
Yucatan  are  undoubtedly  the  work  of  the  Mayas, 
who,  although  nearly  related  to  the  Nahuas,  are 
admitted  to  be  a  distinct  race,  speaking  a  different 
language ;  and  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  the 
Maya  race  formerly  inhabited  a  considerable  por- 
tion of  Central  and  Southern  Mexico,  and  it  is  to 
it  that  we  must  give  credit  for  Tula,  Cholula  and, 
possibly,  Teotehuacan,  all  lying  within  Central 
Mexico,  as  well  as  for  the  highest  culture  ever 
attained  by  natives  on  the  continent  of  North 

Driven  from  their  Mexican  homes  by  the  pres- 
sure of  Nahua  immigrants,  they  doubtless  took 
refuge  in  the  high  lands  of  Chiapas  and  Guate- 
mala, and  along  the  banks  of  the  Rivers  Usuma- 
cinta  and  Motagua,  and  pressed  on  as  far  as  the 
present  frontier  of  Guatemala  and  Honduras ;  but 
it  must  be  admitted  that,  so  far,  no  account  of  this 
migration  and  settlement  is  known  to  us. 

Once  settled  in  Central  America,  the  Mayas 
would  have  held  a  strong  defensive  position  against 
Nahua  invaders,  for  they  were  protected  on  the 
Gulf  side  by  the  intricate  swamps  and  waterways 
which  Cortes  found  so  much'  difficulty  in  crossing 
on  his  march  to  Honduras,  and  on  the  land  side 


by  the  mountain  ranges  which  rise  abruptly  to 
the  east  of  the  Isthmus  of  Tehuantépec.  The 
passes  through  the  great  volcanic  barrier  which 
runs  parallel  to  the  Pacific  Coast  could  have  been 
easily  defended,  while  a  road  was  left  open  along 
the  lowlands  between  the  mountains  and  the  sea, 
of  which  the  Nahua  hordes  apparently  availed 
themselves,  for  Nahua  names  and  dialects  are 
found  as  far  east  as  Nicaragua, 

Judging  from  the  architectural  remains  and  the 
sculptured  stones,  it  may  be  safely  assumed  that  it 
was  in  Central  America  that  the  Mayas  reached  the 
highest  point  of  their  culture,  and  that  they  there 
developed  their  peculiar  script.  No  Maya  hiero- 
glyphic inscriptions  have  yet  been  found  in  Central 
Mexico,  and  it  is  only  within  the  last  few  years  that 
attention  has  been  called  to  what  appears  to  be  a 
somewhat  crude  form  of  Maya  'script  unearthed  as 
far  west  as  Monte  Alban  in  the  State  of  Oaxaca. 

I  am  further  inclined  to  believe,  that  after  some 
centuries  of  peaceful  development  had  elapsed, 
the  Maya  defence  failed,  and  that  the  people  were 
again  driven  from  their  homes  by  invaders  from  the 
North  west,  and  leaving  Chiapas  and  Guatemala, 
took  refuge  in  Yucatan,  where  they  founded  Chichén- 
Itzá,  Uxmal  and  the  numerous  towns  whose  ruins 
may  still  be  seen  throughout  the  northern  part  of  the 
peninsula.  It  is  worthy  of  note  that  weapons  of 
war  are  almost  entirely  absent  from  the  Central 
American  sculptures,  and  at  Copan  one  of  the  most 
important  sculptured  figures  is  that  of  a  woman, 

e  2 


whereas  in  Yucatan  every  man  is  depictured  as  a 
warrior  with  arms  in  his  hands,  and  the  only  repre- 
sentation of  a  woman  known  to  me  is  in  a  mural 
painting  at  Chichén-Itzá,  where  the  women  stand 
among  the  houses  of  a  beleagured  town,  apparently 
bewailing  their  fate,  while  the  battle  rages  outside. 

At  the  time  of  the  Spanish  conquest  the  highlands 
^^  of  Guatemala  were  held  by  tribes  of  the  Maya 
Quiche  race,  who  were  probably  descendants  of  the 
Mayas  and  their  Nahua  conquerors,  and  were  of  an 
entirely  lower  standard  of  culture  than  the  pure 

Yucatan  was  still  Maya,  but  the  influence  of  its 
powerful  Nahua  neighbours  was  strongly  felt,  and 
civil  wars  had  caused  the  destruction  and  abandon- 
ment of  most  of  the  old  towns. 

There  is  yet  one  Maya  area  which  has  so  far 
not  been  mentioned,  the  land  of  the  Huastecs 
around  the  mouth  of  the  Rio  Panuco  (the  river 
dividing  the  modern  States  of  Vera  Cruz  and 
Tamaulipas).  It  seems  probable  that  the  Huastecs, 
and  possibly  also  their  neighbours  the  Totonacs, 
were  the  remnant  of  the  Maya  race  left  behind  when 
the  main  body  was  driven  to  the  south-east.  If  they 
were  a  Maya  colony  from  the  south,  as  has  some- 
times been  asserted,  they  would  certainly  have 
brought  with  them  the  Maya  script,  but  no  Maya 
hieroglyphs  have,  so  far  as  I  know,  ever  been  found 
in  the  Huastec  country.  If,  however,  they  were  a 
remnant  left  behind  when  the  Mayas  migrated  to 
the  south-east,  we  should  not  expect  to  find   the 


Maya  script  in  their  country,  for  if  my  assumption 
is  correct,  at  the  time  of  the  migration  that  script 
had  not  yet  been  developed.  It  should  be  noted 
that  Tula,  the  reputed  capital  of  the  Toltecs,  stands 
on  the  head  waters  of  the  Rio  Panuco,  and  it  may 
be  that  if  such  people  existed,  on  occupying  Tula 
they  acquired  something  of  the  Maya  culture,  and 
thus  gained  their  reputation  of  great  builders  and 
the  teachers  of  the  later  Nahua  immigrants. 

The  exact  reason  for  the  disappearance  of  the 
earlier  races  who  inhabited  Mexico,  and  of  the 
abandonment  of  the  Central  American  cities,  may 
never  be  known,  but  religious  differences  cannot  be 
left  out  of  the  question,  and  one  way  of  regarding 
the  change  is  as  the  triumph  of  the  ruthless  and 
sanguinary  War  God  Huitzilopochtli  over  the  mild 
and  civilising  cult  of  Quetzalcoatl  or  Kukulcan. 
Were  I  asked  to  give  definitely  all  my  reasons  in 
support  of  the  foregoing  statements,  which  differ 
very  considerably  from  those  made  by  such  a 
recent  authority  as  Mr.  Payne  in  his  history  of  the 
American  people,  I  must  own  that  I  should  be  at 
a  loss  how  to  do  so.  However,  I  think  it  will  be 
admitted  by  all  students  of  the  subjedt  that  we  are 
a  very  long  way  indeed  from  having  collected  and 
sifted  all  the  evidence  procurable,  and  until  the 
architecture,  sculpture  and  other  remains  of  the 
very  numerous  ruined  towns  which  may  be  found 
throughout  the  country  are  more  carefully  studied 
and  classified,  and  until  the  inscriptions  have  been 
deciphered,   we   must   put    up   with   such   working 


hypotheses  as  may  best  enable  us  to  group  such 
information  as  has  already  been  obtained. 

In  my  own  case,  a  somewhat  intimate  acquaint- 
ance with  the  sculptures  and  ruined  buildings  both 
in  Central  America  and  Mexico  has  left  impressions 
on  my  mind  as  to  their  relation  to  one  another 
which  it  is  not  always  easy  to  express  in  definite 
terms.  In  another  place^  I  have  given  my  reasons 
for  believing  that  the  ruined  towns  of  Central 
America,  and  probably  the  majority  of  those  of 
Yucatan,  had  been  abandoned  by  their  inhabitants 
long  before  the  Spanish  conquest,  and  consequently 
the  Spaniards  are  not  responsible  for  the  amount  of 
damage  that  is  sometimes  attributed  to  them. 

In  the  story  of  Bernal  Diaz,  we  shall  meet  with 
the  Mayas  in  the  early  pages  describing  the  dis- 
covery of  Yucatan  and  the  passage  of  the  three 
expeditions  along  the  coast  of  the  peninsula,  and 
then  again  we  shall  come  in  touch  with  them  after 
the  conquest  of  Mexico  on  Cortes'  journey  across 
the  base  of  the  peninsula  to  Honduras. 

No  attempt  was  made  to  subdue  the  Mayas 
until  1527,  six  years  after  the  fall  of  Mexico,  and 
such  redouHtable  warriors  did  they  prove  them- 
selves to  be  that,  although  Francisco  de  Montejo 
landed  his  forces  and  marched  right  across  the 
northern  part  of  the  peninsula,  he  was  eventually 
obliged  to  retreat,  and  by  1535  every  Spaniard  was 
driven  out  of  the  country.     It  was  not  until  1547 

^  A  Glimpse  at  Guatemala.    John  Murray,  London,  1899. 


that  the   Spaniards  brought  the  Mayas  into  sub- 

To  turn  now  to  the  time  of  the  Spanish  conquest 
we  find  Mexico  peopled  by  a  number  of  different 
tribes  more  or  less  nearly  alike  in  habits  and 
customs,  and  not  differing  greatly  from  each  other 
in  race,  but  speaking  different  languages  and 
dialects.  Some  of  these  peoples  or  tribes,  such 
as  the  Zapotecs  and  Mixtecs  of  Oaxaca  and  the 
Tarascos  of  Michoacan,  extended  over  a  consider- 
able extent  of  country ;  they  were  not  however 
homogeneous  nations  acting  under  the  direction 
of  one  chief  or  of  a  governing  council.  The 
township  or //^^^/(9  appears  to  have  been  the  unit 
of  society,  and  the  pueblos  of  the  same  race  and 
speech  acted  together  when  compelled  by  necessity 
to  do  so,  as  it  will  be  seen  that  the  Tlaxcalans  acted 
together  owing  to  the  continued  hostility  of  the 
Mexicans.  The  main  factor  in  the  situation  at  the 
time  when  the  Spaniards  landed  was  the  dominance 
of  the  Pueblo  of  Tenochtitlan  or  Mexico. 

The  Mexicans  or  Astecs  were  a  people  of  Nahua 
race  who,  after  many  years  of  wandering  on  their 
way  from  the  North,  finally  settled  in  the  high 
plain,  or  valley,  which  still  retains  their  name. 
For  some  years  they  appear  to  have  been  almost 
enslaved  by  other  tribes  of  the  Nahua  race,  who 
had  already  settled  in  the  valley,  and  it  was  not 
until  the  fourteenth  century  that  they  established 
their  home  on  the  two  small  muddy  islands  of 
Tlatelulco  and  Tenochtitlan  in  the  Great  Lake, 


By  their  own  warlike  prowess  and  diplomatic 
alliances  with  neighbouring  towns  they  gradually 
increased  in  power  until  they  gained  the  hegemony 
of  the  tribes  and  peoples  of  the  valley,  and  then 
carried  their  warlike  enterprises  into  distant  parts 
of  the  country,  even  as  far  as  Tabasco  and 
Guatemala.  In  fact,  they  became  the  head  of  a 
military  and  predatory  empire,  dependent  for  their 
food,  as  well  as  their  wealth,  on  tribute  drawn 
from  subject  tribes  and  races.  They  were  not  a 
civilising  power,  and  as  long  as  the  tribute  was 
paid,  they  did  not  appear  to  concern  themselves 
with  the  improvement  of  the  local  government  of 
their  dependencies.  The  education  of  the  sons 
and  daughters  of  the  upper  classes  was  carefully 
attended  to  under  the  direction  of  the  priesthood, 
but,  as  was  only  natural  in  a  society  so  constituted, 
soldierly  qualities  were  those  most  valued  in  the 
men,  and  the  highest  reward  went  to  those  who 
showed  the  greatest  personal  bravery  in  battle. 

As  the  field  of  tribute  extended,  and  wealth 
accumulated,  the  office  of  the  principal  Caciqtié^  of 
Mexico,  who  was  also  the  natural  leader  of  their 
armies,  rose  in  importance  and  dignity ;  and  we 
learn  from  the  narrative  that  Montezuma,  who  was 
the  ninth  in  succession  of  the  great  Caciqtus  of 
Mexico,  was  treated  by  his  people  with  more  than 
royal  ceremonial. 

^  Cacique  is  the  term  usually  employed  by  the  Spaniards  as 
equivalent  to  chief  or  king.  It  is  not  a  Mexican  but  a  Cuban 


The  arms  and  armour  of  all  the  Indian  tribes 
appear  to  have  been  nearly  alike,  and  they  are 
often  described  by  the  conquerors,  and  are  shown 
in  the  native  picture  writings  that  have  come 
down  to  us.     They  are  the 

Macana  or  Maquahuitl,  called  by  the  Spaniards 
a  sword,  a  flat  blade  of  wood  three  to  four  feet 
long,  and  three  inches  broad,  with  a  groove  along 
either  edge,  into  which  sharp-edged  pieces  of  flint 
or  obsidian  were  inserted,  and  firmly  fixed  with 
some  adhesive  compound. 

Bows  and  stone-tipped  arrows. 


Long  Spears  with  heads  of  stone  or  copper. 

Javelins  made  of  wood  with  points  hardened  in 
the  fire  {varas  tostadas).  These  javelins,  which 
were  much  dreaded  by  the  Spaniards,  were  hurled 
from  an  Atlatl  or  throwing  stick  {tiradera). 

It  is  worth  noting  that  no  bows  or  arrows  are 
shown  on  any  of  the  Maya  sculptures,  but  in  the 
stone  carvings  in  Yucatan  (on  which  weapons  are 
always  prominent)  all  the  men  are  represented 
as  armed  with  short  spears  or  javelins  and  an 

It  may  be  that  bows  and  arrows  were  unknown 
to  the  Mayas  until  they  were  introduced  by  the 
Nahua  races.* 

^  I  cannot  call  to  mind  any  Mexican  or  Central  American 
sculpture  showing  bows  and  arrows.  Such  representations  appear 
to  be  confined  to  the  iienzos  (painted  cloths)  and  picture  writings, 
but  I  am  not  now  able  to  verify  this  statement. 


The  defensive  armour  consisted  of  padded  and 
quilted  cotton  worn  on  the  arms  or  body — ^a  pro- 
tection which  the  Spaniards  themselves  hastened 
to  adopt — and  shields,  usually  round  shields  made 
of  wicker  and  covered  with  hide  or  other  material, 
and  often  beautifully  decorated.  Sometimes  they 
were  oblong  in  shape,  and  large  enough  to  cover 
the  whole  body ;  these  latter  could  be  folded  up 
when  not  in  use.  Head-dresses  or  helmets,  usually 
in  the  form  of  grotesque  animals*  heads,  were  used 
by  the  Chieftains,  and  feathers  were  freely  used  in 
decoration,  both  in  the  form  of  beautiful  feather 
patterns  worked  into  cotton  fabrics  or  as  penachoSy 
lofty  head-dresses  of  feathers  supported  on  a  light 
wood  or  reed  framework. 

A  Mexican  army  in  battle  array  must  have  been 
both  a  beautiful  and  imposing  spectacle,  a  blaze  of 
colour  and  barbaric  splendour. 

This  is  not  the  place  to  discuss  fully  the  moral 
aspects  of  the  Conquest,  but  in  considering  the 
conduct  of  the  Conquistadores  and  their  leader 
we  must  always  keep  in  mind  the  traditions  that 
influenced  them  and  the  laxity  of  the  moral  code 
of  the  time  in  which  they  lived.  Some  of  the 
Spaniards  had  served  in  Italy  under  Gonsalvo  de 
Cordova,  el  gran  Capitan,  and  may  have  seen 
Cæsar  Borgia  himself — what  can  we  expect  from 
such  associations  .-^  All  of  them  were  adventurers 
seeking  for  wealth ;  some,  no  doubt,  were  free- 
booting  vagabonds  who  would  have  been  a  pest 
in  any  community.     The  wonder  of  it  all  is  that 


Cortes,  with  no  authority  from  the  Crown  and  only 
a  few  ardent  partizans  to  support  him,  could  have 
kept  the  control  of  such  a  company  for  so  long. 
He  dared  to  cheat  these  men  out  of  part  of  their 
hard-earned  spoil  that  he  might  have  gold  with 
which  to  bribe  the  leaders  of  the  force  which  he 
must  always  have  known  would  be  sent  in  pursuit 
of  him.  When  the  city  fell  he  allowed  Guatémoc 
to  be  tortured  to  force  him  to  disclose  the  supposed 
secret  of  where  his  treasure  was  hidden— could 
even  his  authority  have  prevented  it  .'^  It  would 
have  been  a  splendid  act  of  heroism  had  he  made 
the  attempt ;  but  we  must  think  of  the  disappointed 
men  around  him,  with  the  terrible  strain  of  the 
siege  suddenly  relaxed,  and  all  their  hopes  of  riches 
dissipated.  Then  there  is  the  greatest  blot  of  all 
on  Cortes'  career,  the  execution  of  Guatémoc 
during  the  march  to  Honduras  ;  no  one  can  help 
feeling  that  it  was  wrong,  but  there  is  nothing 
to  show  that  the  reason  advanced  by  Cortes  was 
not  a  good  one.  It  was  only  too  probable  that  the 
Mexicans,  longing  to  return  to  their  homes,  were 
plotting  against  the  Spaniards  to  effect  it.  Had 
such  a  plot  been  successful  the  Spaniards  were 
inevitably  lost.  That  Cortes  was  not  in  a  state  of 
mind  propitious  to  the  careful  weighing  of  evidence 
may  at  once  be  admitted ;  a  long,  dangerous  and 
toilsome  march  through  a  tropical  forest  is  not 
conducive  to  unruffled  temper.  However,  the 
execution  of  Guatémoc,  if  it  was  an  error,  may 
have  been  more  distinctly  an  error  than  a  crime. 


From  our  point  of  view  the  Spaniards  were  cruel 
and  ruthless  enough ;  an  army  of  unbaptized  Indians 
was  no  more  to  them  than  a  herd  of  swine,  but 
their  callous  cruelty  can  be  no  more  surprising  to 
us  than  their  childlike  belief  in  the  miraculous 
power  of  the  images  and  crosses  which  they  sub- 
stituted for  the  native  idols,  or  their  firm  belief  in 
the  teaching  of  their  Church,  which  did  not  admit 
that  an  Indian  had  the  rights  of  a  human  being 
until  he  was  baptized. 

Neither  in  the  sixteenth  nor  the  twentieth  century 
would  troops  that  have  seen  their  companions-in- 
arms captured  and  led  to  execution  to  grace  the 
festival  of  a  heathen  god,  and  afford  material  for  a 
cannibal  feast,  be  likely  to  treat  their  enemies  with 
much  consideration,  but  the  fate  of  the  vanquished 
Mexicans  was  humane  to  what  it  would  have  been 
had  the  victors  been  Tlaxcalans  or  other  tribes  of 
their  own  race  and  religion. 

These  concluding  remarks  are  not  made  with 
the  intention  of  whitewashing  the  character  of  the 
ConquistadoreSy  their  faults  are  sufficiently  evident, 
but  to  impress  on  the  reader  the  necessity  of  taking 
all  the  factors  of  the  case  into  consideration  when 
forming  a  judgment. 

The  bravery  of  the  Indians  was  magnificent,  and 
their  courage  and  endurance  during  the  last  days  of 
the  siege  of  Mexico  is  unrivalled,  but  Bernal  Diaz  s 
narrative  is  written  from  the  Spanish  point  of  view, 
and  it  is  on  the  conduct  of  the  Spaniards  alone 
that  I  feel  the  need  of  making  any  comment 


The  character  of  Bernal  Diaz  himself  shows 
clearly  enough  in  his  story  ;  it  is  that  of  a  lovable 
old  soldier  such  as  novelists  have  delighted  to 
portray  in  Napoleon  s  **01d  Guard,"  simple,  enduring, 
splendidly  courageous  and  unaffectedly  vain. 

Censure  without  stint  has  been  heaped  on  Cortes 
and  his  followers  for  their  treatment  of  the  Indians, 
but  no  one  has  ever  ventured  to  question  the  spirit 
and  resource  of  that  great  leader  nor  the  daring 
courage  and  endurance  shown  both  by  him  and  his 

I  gladly  take  this  opportunity  of  thanking  Don 
Genaro  Garcia  for  permission  to  make  the  Tran- 
slation from  his  Edition  of  the  True  History  and 
for  his  unfailing  courtesy  and  encouragement  during 
the  progress  of  the  work,  and  of  thanking  Don  Jose 
Romero  of  the  Mexican  Foreign  Office  for  the 
loan  of  books  of  reference  from  his  valuable  collec- 
tion and  for  other  acts  of  kindness. 


Great  difficulty  has  arisen  over  the  spelling  of  the  Indian 
names  of  persons  and  places.  In  the  original  text  a  native 
name  has  often  several  variants,  and  each  one  of  these  may 
differ  from  the  more  generally-accepted  form. 

In  the  Translation  a  purely  arbitrary  course  has  been 
adopted,  but  it  is  one  which  will  probably  prove  more 
acceptable  to  the  general  reader.  Such  words  as  Monte- 
zuma (Motecuhzoma)  and  Huichilobos  (Huitzilopochtli) 
are  spelt  as  Bernal  Diaz  usually  spells  them  ;  others,  such 
as  Gua^acalco,  which  occurs  in  the  text  in  at  least  three 
different  forms,  has  in  the  Translation  always  been  given 
in  the  more  generally-accepted  form  of  Coatzacoalcos. 

At  the  end  of  each  volume  a  list  of  names  is  printed, 
arranged  alphabetically,  showing  the  variants  in  the 
original  text,  the  usually-accepted  forms,  the  spelling  of 
place-names  generally  found  in  modern  maps,  and  when 
possible  the  form  now  used  by  modem  Maya  and  Nahuatl 

Spanish  names  are  always  printed  in  the  Translation 
in  the  generally-accepted  forms :  thus  Xpvl  de  Oli  of  the 
text  is  printed  as  Cristobal  de  Olid.  The  names  of  certain 
Spanish  offices,  such  as  Alguacil,  Regidor,  are  retained  in 
the  Translation,  as  well  as  the  "  Fraile  (or  Padre)  de  la 
Merced "  for  the  "  Friar  of  the  Order  of  Mercy,"  but  all 
foreign  words  used  in  the  Translation  are  printed  in  italics 
when  they  first  occur,  and  are  referred  to  in  foot-notes,  and 
a  Glossary  is  given  at  the  end  of  each  volume. 

Square  brackets  [  ]  enclose  words  inserted  by  the 

Notes  to  the  Mexican  Edition  of  1904,  edited  by 
S'  Don  Genaro  Garcia,  are  marked  "  G.  G." 

The  214  Chapters  have  been  divided  into  Books  with 
sub-headings  by  the  Translator  for  convenience  of  refer- 
ence. No  such  division  or  sub-headings  exist  in  the 
original  Manuscript  or  in  S^  Garcia^s  Mexican  Edition. 



Santiago  de  Cuba. 
8th  Feb.,  15 17         .    Axaruco  (Jaruco). 

Gran  Cairo,  Yucatan  (near  Cape  Catoche). 
Sunday,  day  of  San    Campeche  (San  Lázaro). 


Chanpotón  (or  Potonchan). 
(Return  Voyage)     .     Estero  de  los  Lagartos. 

Los  Martires — The  Shoals  of  the  Martyrs. 
Puerto  de  Carenas  (the  modem  Havana). 


Santiago  de  Cuba. 

8th  April,  1 5 18     .     Matanzas  .  .  18  April,  15 18. 

Puerto  de  Carenas  (Havana)  22  April,  15 18. 

Cape  San  Anion  .  i  May. 

The  day  of  Santa    Cozumel  (Santa  Cruz)  .  3-1 1  May. 

Cruz,  3rd  May. 

Bahia  de  la  Asuncion  .     13-16  May. 

Chanpotón  .     25-28  May. 

Boca    de  Términos    (Puerto    31  May  to  5  June. 

Deseado  or  P.  Real). 
Rio  de  Grijalva  (Tabasco)      .    7-1 1  June. 
Sighted      Ayagualulco     (La 

Sighted  Rio  de  Tonalá  (San 

Sighted  Rio  de  Coatzacoalcos. 
Sighted  Sierra  de  San  Martin. 
Rio  de  Papaloapan  (Rio  de 

Alvarado)  and  Tlacotlalpan. 
Rio  de  Banderas  (Rio  Jamapa) 
Sighted  Isla  Blanca  and  Isla 

Isla  de  Sacrificios       .  .17  June. 




St.    John's     day, 
24th  June. 

Return  Voyage 

San  Juan  de  Ulua      . 

Sighted  the  Sierra  de  Tuxpan. 
Rio  de  Canoas  (R.  Tanguijo) 
(Cape  Rojo). 

Sighted  Rio  de  Coatzacoalcos 
Rio  de  Tonalá  (San  Anton) 
Puerto  de  Términos    . 
Puerto  Deseado 
Small  island  near  Chanþotón 
Bajos  de  Sisal  (f) 
Rio  de  Lagartos 
Conil  near  Caþe  Catoche 
Sighted  Cuba  . 
Puerto  de  Carenas  (Havana) 
Jaruco . 
Santiago  de  Cuba 

18-24  June. 

28  June. 
9  July. 

12-20  July. 
17-22  August 
I  September. 

3  September. 
5-8  September. 

1 1- 12  September. 
14-15  September. 
21  September. 

29  September. 

30  September. 

4  October. 

15  November.* 


Santiago  de  Cuba  . 
Sailed  from  Trinidad 
loth  Feb.,  1 5 19    Sailed  from  (San  Cristobal?)  de 
Havana  on  the  South  Coast  near 
Sailed  from  Cape  San  Anton 
Sailed  from  Cozumel 
Sailed  from  Punta  de  las  Mujeres 
Returned  to  Cozumel. 
4th  March        .     Sailed  from  Cozumel 

Boca  de  Términos. 
1 2th  March"     .    Arrived  at    Rio   de  Grijalva   or 

25th       March,    Battle  of  Cintla 

Lady  Day. 
Palm  Sunday   .    Sailed  from  Santa  Maria  de  la 

Holy  Thursday    Arrived  at  San  Juan  de  Ulua 

iSthNov.,  1518. 
January,  15 19. 
loth  Feb.,  1 5 19. 

nth  Feb.,  1519. 
5th  March. 
6th  March. 

13th  March. 

22nd  March. 

25th  March. 

i8th  April. 

2 1st  April,  Holy 

In  the  above  Itineraries  the  dates  given  by  Bernal  Diaz, 
which  are  few  in  number,  are  placed  on  the  left 

1  See  Padre  Agustin  Rivera,  Anales  MexicanoSy  vol.  i,  p.  47. 
Í  This  is  clearly  an  error. 



Orozco  y  Berra  i^Hist.  Antigua^  vol.  iv)  has  compiled  an 
account  of  the  voyage,  with  dates,  from  many  sources, 
including  "  The  Itinerario,"  Oviedo,  Las  Casas,  Herrera, 
Gomara,  etc.  These  dates  will  be  found  on  the  right-hand 

Places  not  mentioned  by  Bernal  Diaz  as  stopping-places 
of  the  expedition  are  printed  in  italics. 


The  True  History 

of  the 

Conquest    of  New  Spain, 




From  the  only  exact  copy  made  of  the  Original  Manuscript. 







VOL.  I. 


I  HAVE  observed  that  the  most  celebrated  chroniclers 
before  they  begin  to  write  their  histories,  first  set  forth 
a  prologue  and  preface  with  the  argument  expressed  in 
lofty  rhetoric  in  order  to  give  lustre  and  repute  to  their 
statements,  so  that  the  studious  readers  who  peruse  them 
may  partake  of  their  melody  and  flavour.  But  I,  being 
no  Latin  scholar,  dare  not  venture  on  such  a  preamble  or 
prolc^ue,  for  in  order  properly  to  extol  the  adventures 
which  we  met  with  and  the  heroic  deeds  we  accomplished 
during  the  Conquest  of  New  Spain  and  its  provinces  in 
the  company  of  that  valiant  and  doughty  Captain,  Don 
Hernando  Cortes  (who  later  on,  on  account  of  his  heroic 
deeds,  was  made  Marques  del  Valle^)  there  would  be 
needed  an  eloquence  and  rhetoric  far  beyond  my  powers. 
That  which  I  have  myself  seen  and  the  fighting  I  have 
gone  through,  with  the  help  of  God  I  will  describe, 
quite  simply,  as  a  fair  eye  witness  without  twisting  events 
one  way  or  another.  I  am  now  an  old  man,  over  eighty- 
four  years  of  age,  and  I  have  lost  my  sight  and  hearing, 
and,  as  luck  would  have  it,  I  have  gained  nothing  of  value 
to  leave  to  my  children  and  descendants,  but  this  my  true 

*  Created  Marques  del  Valle  de  Guajaca  (Oaxaca)  by  the  Emperor 
Charles  V.    The  Cedula  is  dated  Barcelona,  6th  July,  1529. 

B  2 


Story,  and  they  will  presently  find  out  what  a  wonderful 
story  it  is. 

I  will  do  no  more  now  than  give  evidence  of  my 
nationality  and  birthplace,  and  note  the  year  in  which 
I  set  out  from  Castille  and  the  names  of  the  captains  in 
whose  company  I  went  as  a  soldier,  and  state  where  I  am 
now  settled  and  have  my  home. 




The  beginning  of  the  story. 

citizen  and  Regidor  of  the  most  loyal 
city  of  Santiago  de  Guatemala,  one  of 
the  first  discoverers  and  conquerors 
of  New  Spain  and  its  provinces,  and 
the  Cape  of  Honduras  and  all  that  lies 
within  that  land,  a  Native  of  the  very  noble  and  dis- 
tinguished town  of  Medina  del  Campo,  and  the  son  of  its 
former  Regidor^  Francisco  Diaz  del  Castillo,  who  was  also 
called  "  The  graceful,"  (may  his  soul  rest  in  glory),  speak 
about  that  which  concerns  myself  and  all  the  true  con- 
querors my  companions  who  served  His  Majesty  by 
discovering,  conquering,  pacifying  and  settling  most  of  the 
provinces  of  New  Spain,  and  that  it  is  one  of  the  best 
countries  yet  discpvered  in  the  New  World,  we  found  out 
by  our  own  efforts  without  His  Majesty  knowing  anything 
about  it 


I  also  speak  here  in  reply  to  all  that  has  been  said  and 
written  by  persons  who  themselves  knowing  nothing,  have 
received  no  true  account  from  others  of  what  really  took 
place,  but  who  nevertheless  now  put  forward  any  state- 
ments that  happen  to  suit  their  fancy.  As  there  is  no 
account  of  our  many  and  remarkable  services  such  as  their 
merits  deserve  ********  these  indifferent 
story-tellers  are  now  unwilling  that  we  should  receive  the 
recompense  and  *  *  »  *  *  which  His  Majesty  has 
ordered  his  Governors  and  Viceroys  to  afford  us. 

Apart  from  these  reasons  such  deeds  as  those  I  am 
going  on  to  describe,  cannot  be  forgotten,  and  the  truth 
about  them  will  be  proved  afresh,  but,  as  in  the  books 
which  have  been  written  on  the  subject  the  truth  has  so 
often  been  perverted,  [I  write  this  history]  so  that  when 
tales  are  told  of  daring  deeds  our  fame  shall  not  suffer, 
and  that  on  account  of  such  brilliant  adventures  our 
names  may  be  placed  among  the  most  famous,  for  we 
have  run  the  risk  of  death  and  wounds,  and  have  suffered 
a  thousand  other  miseries,  venturing  our  lives  in  dis- 
covering lands  about  which  nothing  whatever  was  known, 
battling  by  day  and  by  night  with  a  host  of  doughty 
warriors,  at  so  great  a  distance  from  Castille  that  no  aid 
or  assistance  could  reach  us,  save  the  only  true  help, 
namely  the  loving  kindness  of  our  Lord  God  whom  it  has 
pleased  that  we  should  conquer  New  Spain  and  the  far- 
famed  city  of  Tenochtitlan/  Mexico,  for  so  it  is  called, 
and  many  other  cities  and  provinces  which  are  too 
numerous  for  me  to  name.  As  soon  as  we  had  the 
country  pacified  and  settled  by  Spaniards,  we  thought 
it  to  be  our  duty  as  good  and  loyal  subjects  of  His 
Majesty,  with  much  respect  for  our  King  and  natural 
Lord,  to  hand  the  country  over  to  him.      With    that 

^  Tenuztitlan  in  the  original. 

or  THE  STORY.  7 

intent  we  sent  our  Ambassadors  to  Castille  and  thence 
to  Flanders  where  his  Majesty  at  that  time  held  his  Court. 
I  shall  also  tell  about  all  the  good  results  that  came  of  it, 
and  about  the  large  number  of  souls  which  have  been 
saved,  and  are  daily  being  saved,  by  conversion  to  the 
faith,  all  of  which  souls  were  formerly  lost  in  Hell.  In 
addition  to  this  holy  work,  attention  will  be  called  to  the 
great  treasure  which  we  sent  as  a  present  to  his  Majesty, 
and  that  which  has  been  sent  and  is  being  sent  daily 
and  is  in  the  form  of  the  Royal  Fifths,*  as  well  as  in  the 
large  amounts  carried  off  by  many  persons  of  all  classes. 
I  shall  tell  in  this  story  who  was  the  first  discoverer  of  the 
province  of  Yucatan,  and  how  we  went  to  the  discovery  of 
New  Spain  and  who  were  the  Captains  and  soldiers  who 
conquered  and  settled  it  and  many  other  things  which 
happened  during  the  conquest,  which  are  worth  knowing 
and  should  not  be  forgotten ;  all  this  I  shall  relate  as 
briefly  as  possible,  and  above  all  with  the  assured  truth  of 
an  eye  witness. 

*If  I  were  to  remember  and  recount  one  by  one  the 
heroic  [deeds]  which  we,  one  and  all  of  us  valiant  captains 
and  brave  [soldiers]  accomplished,  from  the  beginning  to 
the  end  of  the  conquest,  reciting  each  deed  as  it  deserved, 
it  would,  indeed,  be  a  great  [undertaking,]  and  would  need 
a  very  famous  historian  [to  carry  it  out]  with  greater 
eloquence  and  style  than  my  poor  words  [can  compass.] 
As  later  on  «  *  «  *  when  I  was  present  and  saw 
and  understood,  and  I  will  call  to  mind  *  *  *  *  that 
repeats  m  m  m  0  imposed  as  a  duty — and  delicate 
style  and  I     *      *      «      «     I  will  write  it  with  God's 

^  The  tax  on  all  bullion  and  other  treasure  paid  to  the  Crown. 

*  In  the  following  passages  many  of  the  words  of  the  Manuscript 
are  rubbed  and  worn  out  When  the  meaning  is  obvious  the  missing 
words  are  supplied  in  brackets  in  the  translation.  When  the  meaning 
is  not  clear  the  spaces  are  maikcd  with  asterisks. 


help  with  honest  truth  ♦  ♦  *  ♦  of  the  wise 
elders  who  say  that  a  good  style  *  ♦  *  *  is 
to  tell  the  truth  and  *  «  «  *  [not]  to  exaggerate 
and  flatter  ♦  *  ♦  «  others,  especially  in  a  nar- 
rative like  this  *  *  *  *  would  die  of  it,  and 
because  I  am  no  latin  scholar  and  do  not  understand 
the  art  ♦  *  *  *  I  will  not  treat  of  it,  for  I  say  I 
understand  [only]  the  battles  and  pacifications  where  I 
was  myself  present,  for  I  was  one  of  the  first  [to  set  out] 
from  Cuba  in  the  company  of  a  Captain  named  Francisco 
[Hernandez  de  Cordova]  and  we  were  accompanied  on 
that  voyage  by  one  hundred  and  ten  soldiers,  we  explored 
*  *  *  ♦  they  stopped  (?)  at  the  first  place  at 
which  one  landed  which  is  called  Cape  [Catoche  and  at]  a 
town  further  on  called  Chanpoton  more  than  half  of  us 
[were  killed  and]  the  Captain  received  ten  arrow  wounds 
and  all  the  rest  of  us  soldiers  got  two  [arrow  wounds  and 
the  Indians]  a[ttack]ing  us  with  such  skill  we  were  obliged,, 
with  the  greatest  difficulty  to  return  to  the  Island  [of 
Cuba  whence]  we  had  set  out  with  the  fleet,  and  the 
captain  died  almost  as  soon  as  we  landed,  and  of  the 
one  hundred  and  ten  soldiers  who  set  out  with  us,  fifty- 
seven  were  left  behind,  dead. 

After  this  first  warlike  expedition,  I  set  out  a  second 
time  from  this  same  Island  of  Cuba  under  another  captain, 
named  Juan  de  Grijalva,  and  we  again  had  great  warlike 
encounters  with  these  same  Indians  of  the  Pueblo  of 
Chanpoton,  and  in  this  second  battle  many  of  our  soldiers 
were  killed.  From  that  Pueblo  we  went  on  along  the 
coast,  exploring,  until  we  arrived  at  New  Spain  and  then 
kept  on  our  way  until  we  reached  the  province  of  Panuco. 
Then  a  second  time  we  had  to  turn  back  to  the  Island 
of  Cuba,  baffled  and  exhausted  both  from  hunger  and 
thirst,  and  from  other  reasons  which  I  will  set  forth  in  the 
chapter  which  treats  of  this  expedition. 

OF  THE  StORY.  9 

To  go  back  to  my  story  ;  I  set  out  for  the  third  time 
with  the  daring  and  valiant  captain  Don  Hernando  Cortes, 
who  later  on  was  made  Marques  del  Valle  and  received 
other  titles  of  honour.  I  repeat  that  no  other  captain  or 
soldier  went  to  New  Spain  three  times  in  succession  on 
one  expedition  after  another  as  I  did,  so  that  I  am  the 
earliest  discoverer  and  conqueror  who  has  ever  lived  or  is 
now  living  in  New  Spain.  Although  many  soldiers  went 
twice  on  voyages  of  discovery,  the  first  time  with  Juan  de 
Grijalva  whom  I  have  already  mentioned,  and  the  second 
time  with  the  gallant  captain  Cortes,  yet  they  never  went 
three  times  in  succession.  If  they  went  the  first  time  with 
Francisco  Hernandez  de  Cordova,  they  did  not  go  the 
second  time  with  Grijalva,  nor  the  third  time  with  the 
valiant  Cortes.  God  has  been  pleased  to  preserve  me 
through  many  risks  of  death,  both  during  this  laborious 
discovery,  and  in  the  very  bloody  Mexican  wars  (and  I 
give  God  many  thanks  for  it),  in  order  that  I  may  tell  and 
declare  the  events  that  happened  in  those  wars,  so  that 
studious  readers  may  give  them  attention  and  thought. 

I  was  twenty-four  years  old  when  Diego  Velasquez,  the 
Governor  of  the  Island  of  Cuba,  who  was  my  kinsman, 
promised  to  give  me  some  Indians  as  soon  as  there  were 
any  available,  but  I  did  not  care  to  be  kept  waiting  until 
this  should  happen.  I  always  had  a  zeal  for  soldiering,  as 
•  it  is  becoming  that  a  man  should  have,  both  in  order  to 
serve  God  and  the  king  and  to  endeavour  to  gain  renown, 
and  as  being  such  a  life  that  honourable  men  should  seek, 
and  I  gradually  put  from  my  mind  the  death  of  my 
companions  who  were  killed  in  those  times  and  the  wounds 
that  I  myself  received,  and  the  fatigue  and  hardship  I 
endured  and  which  all  must  endure  who  set  out  to  discover 
new  lands,  and,  being  as  we  were,  but  a  small  company, 
dare  to  enter  into  great  towns  swarming  with  hostile 
warriors.     I  myself  was  always  at  the  front  and  never 

»  V    -. 


descended  to  the  many  vices  prevalent  in  the  island  of 
Cuba,  as  will  be  clearly  seen  in  the  course  of  this  story. 

In  the  year  fifteen  hundred  and  fourteen,  I  came  from 
Castille  and  began  my  career  as  a  soldier  on  Tierra-firme,^ 
then  went  on  to  the  discovery  of  Yucatan  and  New  Spain, 
and  as  my  forefathers,  my  father  and  my  brother  had 
always  been  servants  of  the  crown  and  of  the  Catholic 
kings  of  glorious  memory  Don  Fernando  and  Dofia  Ysabel, 
I  wished  to  be  something  like  them. 

In  the  year  15 14,  as  I  have  already  said,  there  came  out 
as  Governor  of  Tierra-firme,  a  gentleman  named  Pedrárias 
Dávila.*  I  agreed  to  go  with  him  to  his  Government  and 
the  country  conquered  by  him.  So  as  to  shorten  the  story, 
I  will  not  relate  what  happened  on  the  voyage,  more  than 
to  say  sometimes  with  good  weather  and  other  times  with 
bad  weather,  we  arrived  at  N  ombre  de  Dios,  for  so  it  was 

Some  three  or  four  months  after  the  settlement  was 
formed,  there  came  a  pestilence  from  which  many  soldiers 
died,  and  in  addition  to  this,  all  the  rest  of  us  fell  ill  and 
suffered  from  bad  ulcers  on  the  legs.  Then  disputes  arose 
between  the  Governor  and  a  nobleman  named  Vasco 
Nuflez  de  Balboa,  the  captain,  who  had  conquered  that 
province,  to  whom  Pedrárias  Dávila  had  given  his  daughter 
(Dofia  somebody  Arias  de  Pefialosa)  in  marriage.  But  it 
seems  that  after  marriage,  he  grew  suspicious  of  his  son-in- 
law,  believing  that  he  would  rise  in  rebellion  and  lead  a 
body  of  soldiers  towards  the  South  Sea,  so  he  gave  orders 
that  Balboa  should  have  his  throat  cut  and  certain  of  the 
soldiers  should  be  punished. 

As  we  were  witnesses  of  what  I  have  related,  and  of 
other  revolts  among  the  captains,  and  as  the  news  reached 

*  Tierra-firme = the  Spanish  Main. 
'  Pedro  Arias  de  Ávila. 


US  that  the  Island  of  Cuba  had  lately  been  conquered  and 
settled,  and  that  a  gentleman  named  Diego  Velasquez,  a 
native  of  Cuellar,  who  has  already  been  mentioned  by  me, 
had  been  made  Governor  of  the  Island,  some  of  us  gentle- 
men and  persons  of  quality,  who  had  come  out  with 
Pedrárias  Dávila,  made  up  our  minds  to  ask  him  to  give 
us  permission  to  go  to  Cuba,  and  he  willingly  did  so,  as  he 
had  no  need  of  all  the  soldiers  he  had  brought  with  him 
from  Castille,  as  there  was  no  one  left  to  conquer.  Indeed 
the  country  under  his  rule  is  small  and  thinly  peopled, 
and  his  son-in-law  Vasco  Nunez  de  Balboa  had  already 
conquered  it  and  ensured  peace. 

As  soon  as  leave  was  granted  we  embarked  in  a  good 
ship  and  with  fair  weather  reached  the  Island  of  Cuba. 
.On  landing  we  went  at  once  to  pay  our  respects  to  the 
Governor,  who  was  pleased  at  our  coming,  and  promised 
to  give  us  Indians  as  soon  as  there  were  any  to  spare. 

When  three  years  had  gone  by,  counting  both  the  time 
we  were  in  Tierra-iirme  and  that  which  we  had  passed  in 
the  Island  of  Cuba,  and  it  became  evident  that  we  were 
merely  wasting  our  time,  one  hundred  and  ten  of  us  got 
together,  most  of  us  comrades  who  had  come  from  Tierra- 
iirme,  and  the  other  Spaniards  of  Cuba  who  had  had  no 
Indians  assigned  to  them,  and  we  made  an  agreement  with 
a  gentleman  named  Francisco  Hernandez  de  Cordova,^ 
whose  name  I  have  already  mentioned,  a  rich  man  who 
owned  an  Indian  Pueblo  in  the  Island,  that  he  should  be 
our  leader,  for  he  was  well  fitted  for  the  post,  and  that  we 
should  try  our  fortune  in  seeking  and  exploring  new  lands 
where  we  might  find  employment 

With  this  object  in  view,  we  purchased  three  ships,  two 

^  The  three  partners  in  this  expedition  were  Francisco  Hernandez 
de  Cordova,  Lope  Ochoa  de  Caicedo  and  Cristóval  Morante.  (See 
letter  from  the  Municipality  of  Vera  Cruz,  dated  loth  July,  15 19. 
Usually  known  as  Cortes'  first  letter.) 


of  them  of  good  capacity,  and  the  third,  a  bark,  bought  on 
credit  from  the  Governor,  Diego  Velasquez,  on  the  con- 
dition that  all  of  us  soldiers  should  go  in  the  three  vessels 
to  some  islands  lying  between  Cuba  and  Honduras,  which 
are  now  called  the  Islands  of  the  Guanajes,^  and  make  war 
on  the  natives  and  load  the  vessels  with  Indians,  as  slaves, 
with  which  to  pay  him  for  his  bark.  However,  as  we 
soldiers  knew  that  what  Diego  Velasquez  asked  of  us  was 
not  just,  we  answered  that  it  was  neither  in  accordancel 
with  the  law  of  God  nor  of  the  king,  that  we  should  make^ 
free  men  slaves.  When  he  saw  that  we  had  made  up/ 
our  minds,  he  said  that  our  plan  to  go  and  discover  new 
countries  was  better  than  his,  and  he  helped  us  in  providing 
food  for  our  voyage.  Certain  inquisitive  gentlemen  have 
asked  me  why  I  have  written  down  these  words  which 
Diego  Velasquez  uttered  about  selling  us  the  ship,  and 
they  say  they  have  an  ugly  look  and  should  not  have  been 
inserted  in  this  history.  I  reply  that  I  write  them  here 
because  it  is  desirable  on  account  of  the  law  suits  which 
Diego  Velasquez  and  the  Bishop  of  Burgos  and  Arch- 
bishop of  Rosano,  whose  name  is  Juan  Rodriguez  de 
Fonscca,  brought  against  us. 

To  return  to  my  story,  we  now  found  ourselves  with 
three  ships  stored  with  Cassava*  bread,  which  is  made 
from  a  root,  and  we  bought  some  pigs  which  cost  three 
dollars  apiece,  for  in  those  days  there  were  neither  sheep 
nor  cattle  in  the  Island  of  Cuba,  for  it  was  only  beginning 
to  be  settled,  and  we  added  a  supply  of  oil,  and  bought 
beads  and  other  things  of  small  value  to  be  used  for 
barter.  We  then  sought  out  three  pilots,  of  whom  the 
chief,  who  took  charge  of  the  fleet,  was  called  Anton  de 
Alaminos  a  native  of  Palos,  the  second  came  from  Triana 

^  Roatan,  Bonacca,  etc.    Islands  near  the  coast  of  Honduras. 
'  Cassava  bread.    Made  from  the  root  of  Manihoc  utilissima. 


and  was  named  Camacho,  and  the  third  was  Juan  Alvarez 
"  el  Manquillo  "*  from  Huelva.  We  also  engaged  the 
necessary  number  of  sailors  and  procured  the  best  supply 
that  we  could  afford  of  ropes,  cordage,  cables,  and 
anchors,  and  casks  for  water  and  other  things  needed  for 
the  voyage,  and  this  all  to  our  own  cost  and  regret. 

When  all  the  soldiers  were  mustered,  we  set  out  for  a 
port  which  in  the  Indian  language  is  called  Axaruco,* 
on  the  North  coast,  eight  leagues  from  a  town  named 
San  Cristobal,  which  was  then  inhabited  and  which  two 
years  later  was  moved  to  the  present  site  of  Havana.  In 
order  that  our  voyage  should  proceed  on  right  principles 
we  wished  to  take  with  us  a  priest  named  Alonso  Gonzalez 
who  was  then  living  in  the  said  town  of  San  Cristobal, 
and  he  agreed  to  come  with  us.  We  also  chose  for  the 
office  of  Veedor}  (in  his  Majesty's  name),  a  soldier  named 
Bemaldino  Yftiguez,  a  native  of  Santo  Domingo  de  la 
Calzada,  so  that  if  God  willed  that  we  should  come  on 
rich  lands,  or  people  who  possessed  gold  or  silver  or  pearls 
or  any  other  kind  of  treasure,  there  should  be  a  responsible 
person  to  guard  the  Royal  Fifth. 

After  all  was  arranged  and  we  had  heard  Mass,  we 
commended  ourselves  to  God  our  Lord,  and  to  Our  Lady, 
the  sainted  Virgin  Mary,  His  blessed  Mother,  and  set  out 
on  our  voyage  in  the  way  I  will  now  relate. 

^  El  Manquillo » the  little  maimed  or  one-handed  man. 

'  Jaruco  is  shown  on  modem  maps  about  twelve  miles  to  the  east 
of  the  present  city  of  Havana. 

The  name  of  Havana  at  this  time  appears  to  have  applied  to  the 

San  Cristobal  was  on  the  south  coast  of  the  Island,  which  is  here 
about  eight  leagues  across  from  sea  to  sea. 

•  Vcedor  (obsolete)— overseer,  caterer,  official  in  charge  of  the 



How  we  discovered  the  Province  of  Yucatan. 

On  the  eighth  day  of  the  month  of  February  in  the  year 
fifteen  hundred  and  seventeen,  we  left  the  Havana  from 
the  port  of  Axaruco,  which  is  on  the  North  coast,  and  in 
twelve  days  we  doubled  Cape  San  Antonio,  which  is  also 
called  in  the  Island  of  Cuba  the  land  of  the  Guanaha- 
taveyes,  who  are  Indians  like  savages.  When  we  had 
passed  this  Cape  we  were  in  the  open  sea  and  trusting 
to  luck  we  steered  towards  the  setting  sun,  knowing 
nothing  of  the  depth  of  water,  nor  of  the  currents,  nor  of 
the  winds  which  usually  prevail  in  that  latitude,  so  we  ran 
great  risk  of  our  lives,  then  a  storm  struck  us  which  lasted 
two  days  and  two  nights,  and  raged  with  such  streng^ 
that  we  were  nearly  lost.  When  the  weather  moderated, 
we  kept  on  our  course,  and  twenty-one  days  after  leaving 
port,  we  sighted  land,  at  which  we  rejoiced  greatly  and 
gave  thanks  to  God.  This  land  had  never  been  discovered 
before  and  no  report  of  it  had  reached  us.  From  the 
ships  we  could  see  a  large  town  standing  back  about  two 
leagues  from  the  coast,  and  as  we  had  never  seen  such  a 
large  town  in  the  Island  of  Cuba  nor  in  Hispaniola,  we 
named  it  the  Great  Cairo. 

We  arranged  that  the  two  vessels  which  drew  the  least 
water  should  go  in  as  near  as  possible  to  the  Coast,  to 
examine  the  land  and  see  if  there  was  an  anchorage  near 
the  shore.  On  the  morning  of  the  4th  March,  we  saw  ten 
large  canoes,  called  piraguas^  full  of  Indians  from  the 
town,  approaching  us  with  oars  and  sails.  The  canoes 
were  large  ones  made  like  hollow  troughs  cleverly  cut  out 
from  huge  single  logs,  and  many  of  them  would  hold  forty 

To  go  back  to  my  story ;  the  Indians  in  the  ten  canoes 


came  close  to  our  ships,  and  we  made  signs  of  peace  to 
them,  beckoning  with  our  hands  and  waving  our  cloaks  to 
induce  them  to  come  and  speak  to  us,  although  at  that 
time  we  had  no  interpreters  who  could  speak  the  lan- 
guages of  Yucatan  and  Mexico.  They  approached  quite 
fearlessly  and  more  than  thirty  of  them  came  on  board 
the  flagship,  and  we  gave  them  each  a  present  of  a  string 
of  green  beads,  and  they  passed  some  time  examining  the 
ships.  The  chief  man  among  them,  who  was  a  Cacique, 
made  signs  to  us  that  they  wished  ,to  embark  in  their 
canoes  and  return  to  their  town,  and  that  they  would 
come  back  again  another  day  with  more  canoes  in  which 
we  could  go  ashore. 

These  Indians  were  clothed  in  cotton  shirts  made  like 
jackets,  and  covered  their  persons  with  a  narrow  cloth 
which  they  call  masteles,  and  they  seemed  to  us  a  people 
superior  to  the  Cubans,  for  the  Cuban  Indians  go  about 
naked,  only  the  women  wearing  a  cloth  reaching  to  the 
thighs,  which  cloths  they  call  naguas} 

To  return  to  my  story;  the  next  morning  the  same 
Cacique  returned  to  Ihe  ships  and  brought  twelve  large 
canoes,  which  I  have  already  said  are  czWed  piraguas^  with 
Indian  rowers,  and  with  a  cheerful  face  and  every  appear- 
ance of  friendliness,  made  signs  that  we  should  go  to  his 
town,  where  they  would  feed  us  and  supply  all  our  needs, 
and  that  in  those  canoes  of  his  we  could  land. 

He  kept  on  saying  in  his  language,  ''cones  cato€hé\ 
^ cones  cato€he*\  which  means  "come  to  my  houses",  and 
for  that  reason  we.  called  the  land  Cape  Catoche,  and  it  is 
still  so  named  on  the  charts. 

When  our  captain   and   the  soldiers  saw  the  friendly 

^  Why  the  author  should  have  written  "  que  llaman  naguas  "  is  not 
dear.  Énaguas  or  naguas  is  the  Spanish,  not  the  Cuban,  word  for  the 
skirt,  petticoat  or  upper  skirt  of  a  woman's  dress. 


overtures  the  chief  was  making  to  us,  we  agreed  to  lower 
the  boats  from  our  ships,  and  in  the  vessel  of  least 
draught,  and  in  the  twelve  canoes,  to  go  ashore  all 
together,  and  because  we  saw  that  the  shore  was  crowded 
with  Indians  from  the  town,  we  arranged  to  land  all  of  us 
at  the  same  moment.  When  the  Cacique  saw  us  all  on 
shore,  but  showing  no  intention  of  going  to  his  town,  he 
again  made  signs  to  our  captain  that  we  should  go  with 
him  to  his  houses,  and  he  showed  such  evidence  of  peace 
and  good-will,  that  our  captain  asked  our  advice  whether 
we  should  go  on  or  no,  and  most  of  the  soldiers  were  of 
opinion  that  with  the  precaution  of  taking  all  our  arms 
with  us  we  should  go  on,  and  we  took  with  us  fifteen 
crossbows  and  ten  muskets,  so  with  the  Cacique  as  our 
guide,  we  began  our  march  along  the  road,  accompanied 
by  many  Indians. 

We  moved  on  in  this  way  until  we  approached  some 
brush-covered  hillocks,  when  the  Cacique  began  to  shout 
and  call  out  to  some  squadrons  of  warriors  who  were  lying 
in  ambush  ready  to  fall  upon  us  and  kill  us.  On  hearing 
the  Cacique's  shouts,  the  warriors  attacked  us  in  great 
haste  and  fury,  and  began  to  shoot  with  such  skill  that  the 
first  flight  of  arrows  wounded  fifteen  soldiers. 

These  warriors  wore  armour  made  of  cotton  reaching  to 
the  knees  and  carried  lances  and  shields,  bows  and  arrows, 
slings  and  many  stones. 

After  the  flight  of  arrows,  the  warriors,  with  their 
feathered  crests  waving,  attacked  us  hand  to  hand,  and 
hurling  their  lances  with  all  their  might  they  did  us  much 
damage.  However,  thank  God,  we  soon  put  them  to 
flight  when  they  felt  the  sharp  edge  of  our  swords,  and 
the  effect  of  our  guns  and  crossbows,  and  fifteen  of  them 
fell  dead. 

A  short  distance  ahead  of  the  place  where  they  attacked 
us,  was  a  small  plaza  with  three  houses  built  of  masonry, 


which  served  as  Cues^  and  oratories.*  These  houses  con- 
tained many  pottery  Idols,  some  with  the  faces  of  demons 
and  others  with  women's  faces,  and  there  were  others  of 
evil  figures  of  Indians  who  appeared  to  be  committing 
sodomy  one  with  another. 

Within  the  houses  were  some  small  wooden  chests,  and 
in  them  were  some  other  Idols,  and  some  little  discs  made 
partly  of  gold  but  more  than  half  of  copper,  and  some 
necklaces  and  three  diadems,  and  other  small  objects  in 
the  form  of  fish  and  others  like  the  ducks  of  the  country, 
all  made  of  inferior  gold. 

When  we  had  seen  the  gold  and  the  houses  of  masonry,  ^^  i 

we  felt  well  content  at  having  discovered  such  a  country,       /  < 
for  at  that  time  Peru  was  unknown,  indeed,  it  was  not 
discovered  until  twenty  years  later. 

While  we  were  fighting  with  the  Indians,  the  priest 
Gonzalez  had  accompanied  us,  and  he  took  charge  of  the 
chests  and  the  gold,  and  the  Idols,  and  carried  them  to 
the  ship.  In  these  skirmishes  we  took  two  Indians 
prisoners,  and  later  on,  when  they  were  baptized,  one  was 
named  Julian  and  the  other  Melchior,  both  of  them  were 
cross-eyed.  When  the  fight  was  over  we  returned  to  our 
ships,  and  went  on  exploring  along  the  coast  towards  the 
setting  sun,  we  set  sail  as  soon  as  the  wounded  were  cared 
for,  and  what  else  happened  I  will  tell  later  on. 

^  Cue  is  the  name  commonly  applied  to  the  Indian  shrines  or 
Itemples,  usually  small  buildings  raised  on  pyramidal  foundations.  It 
IS  not  a  Maya  or  Mexican  word,  but  one  picked  up  by  the  Spaniards 
|n  the  Antilles. 

•  It  should  be  noted  that,  although  the  Spaniards  had  now  been  in 
America  for  twenty-four  years  and  had  explored  the  Islands  and  the 
coast  of  the  mainland  from  the  mouth  of  the  Orinoco  to  the  Bay 
of  Honduras,  and  part  of  the  coast  of  Florida,  this  was  the  first  time 
they  had  seen  houses  and  temples  built  of  stone  ;  and  with  the 
exception  of  the  crew  of  a  canoe  which  Columbus  met  during  his 
fourth  voyage  near  the  Islands  of  the  Guanajes  off  the  coast  of  Hon- 
duras, this  was  the  first  meeting  of  the  Spaniards  with  any  of  the  more 
civilised  races  of  America. 



How  we  coasted  along  towards  the  west,  discovering  capes  and 
deep  water,  roadsteads  and  reefs. 

Believing  this  land  to  be  an  Island,  as  the  Pilot,  Anton 
de  A  [aminos,  had  assured  us  that  it  was,  we  travelled  with 
the  greatest  caution,  sailing  only  by  day  and  anchoring  by 
night.  After  voyaging  in  this  manner  for  fifteen  days,  we 
descried  from  the  ship,  what  appeared  to  be  a  large  town 
near  to  a  great  bay  or  creek,  and  we  thought  that  there 
might  be  a  river  or  stream  there,  where  we  could  pro- 
vide ourselves  with  water  of  which  we  had  great  need, 
because  the  casks  and  other  vessels  which  we  had  brought 
with  us,  were  not  watertight.  It  was  because  our  fleet  was 
manned  by  poor  men  who  had  not  money  enough  to 
purchase  good  casks  and  cables,  that  the  water  ran  short. 
We  had  to  land  near  the  town,  and  as  it  was  Sunday,  the 
day  of  San  Lázaro,  we  gave  the  town  that  name,  and  so  it 
is  marked  on  the  charts,  but  its  proper  Indian  name  is 

In  order  that  we  could  all  of  us  land  at  the  same  time, 
we  agreed  to  approach  the  shore  in  the  smallest  of  the 
vessels,  and  in  the  three  boats,  with  all  our  arms  ready,  so 
as  not  to  be  caught  as  we  had  been  at  Cape  Catoche. 

In  these  roadsteads  and  bays,  the  water  shallows  very 
considerably  at  low  tide,  so  that  we  had  to  leave  our  ships 
anchored  more  than  a  league  from  the  shore. 

We  went  ashore  near  the  town  where  there  was  a  pool 
of  good  water,  used  by  the  people  of  the  place  for  drinking 
water,  for  as  far  as  we  had  seen  there  were  no  rivers  in  this 
country.  We  landed  the  casks,  intending  to  fill  them  with 
water,  and  return  to  our  ships.  When  the  casks  were  full, 
and  we  were  ready  to  embark,  a  company  of  about  fifty 
Indians,  clad  in  good  cotton  mantles,  came  out  in  a  peace- 


ful  manner  from  the  town.  From  their  appearance  we 
believed  them  to  be  Caciques,  and  they  asked  us  by  signs 
what  it  was  we  were  looking  for,  and  we  gave  them  to 
understand  that  we  had  come  for  water,  and  wished  to 
return  at  once  to  our  ships.  They  then  made  signs  with 
their  hands  to  find  out  whether  we  came  from  the  direction 
of  the  sunrise,  repeating  the  word  "  Castilan  "  "  Castilan  " 
and  we  did  not  understand  what  they  meant  by  Castilan, 
They  then  asked  us  by  signs  to  go  with  them  to  their 
town,  and  we  took  council  together  as  to  what  we  should 
do,  and  decided  to  go  with  them,  keeping  well  on  the  alert 
and  in  good  formation. 

They  led  us  to  some  large  houses  very  well  built  of 
masonry,  which  were  the  Temples  of  their  Idols,  and  on 
the  walls  were  figured  the  bodies  of  many  great  serpents 
and  snakes  and  other  pictures  of  evil-looking  Idols.  These 
walls  surrounded  a  sort  of  Altar  covered  with  clotted 
blood.  On  the  other  side  of  the  Idols  were  symbols  like 
crosses,  and  all  were  coloured.  At  all  this  we  stood 
wondering,  as  they  were  things  never  seen  or  heard  of 

It  seemed  as  though  certain  Indians  had  just  offered 
sacrifices  to  their  Idols  so  as  to  ensure  victory  over  us. 
However,  many  Indian  women  moved  about  us,  laughing, 
and  with  every  appearance  of  good  will,  but  the  Indians 
gathered  in  such  numbers  that  we  began  to  fear  that 
there  might  be  some  trap  set  for  us  as  at  Catoche.  While 
this  was  happening,  many  other  Indians  approached  us, 
wearing  very  ragged  mantles  and  carrying  dry  reeds, 
which  they  deposited  upon  the  plain,  and  behind  them 
came  two  squadrons  of  Indian  archers  in  cotton  armour, 
carrying  lances  and  shields,  slings  and  stones,  and  each 
captain  drew  up  his  squadron  at  a  short  distance  from 
where  we  stood.  At  that  moment,  there  sallied  from 
another  house,  which  was  an  oratory  of  their  Idols,  ten 

C  2 


Indians  clad  in  long  white  cotton  cloaks,  reaching  to  their 
feet,  and  with  their  long  hair  reeking  with  blood,  and  so 
matted  together,  that  it  could  never  be  parted  or  even 
combed  out  again,  unless  it  were  cut.  These  were  the 
priests  of  the  Idols,  who  in  New  Spain  are  commonly 
cMed  ýaýas  and  such  I  shall  call  them  hereafter.  These 
priests  brought  us  incense  of  a  sort  of  resin  which  they 
call  cofia/,  and  with  pottery  braziers  full  of  live  coals,  they 
began  to  fumigate  us,  and  by  signs  they  made  us  under- 
stand that  we  should  quit  their  land  before  the  firewood 
which  they  had  piled  up  there  should  burn  out,  otherwise 
they  would  attack  us  and  kill  us.  After  ordering  fire  to 
be  put  to  the  reeds,  the  priests  withdrew  without  further 
speech.  Then  the  warriors  who  were  drawn  up  in  battle 
array  began  to  whistle  and  sound  their  trumpets  and 
drums.  When  we  perceived  their  menacing  appearance 
and  saw  great  squadrons  of  Indians  bearing  down  on  us 
we  remembered  that  we  had  not  yet  recovered  from  the 
wounds  received  at  Cape  Catoche,  and  had  been  obliged 
to  throw  overboard  the  bodies  of  two  soldiers  who  had 
died,  and  fear  fell  on  us,  so  we  determined  to  retreat  to 
the  coast  in  good  order,  and  began  to  march  along  the 
shore  towards  a  large  rock  which  rose  out  of  the  sea, 
while  the  boats  and  the  small  bark  laden  with  the  water 
casks  coasted  along  close  in  shore.  We  had  not  dared  to 
embark  near  the  town  where  we  had  landed,  on  account  of 
the  great  press  of  Indians,  for  we  felt  sure  they  would 
attack  us  as  we  tried  to  get  in  the  boats.  As  soon  as  we 
had  embarked  and  got  the  casks  on  board  the  ships,  we 
sailed  on  for  six  days  and  nights  in  good  weather,  then  we 
were  struck  by  a  norther  which  is  a  foul  wind  on  that 
coast  and  it  lasted  four  days  and  nights,  and  so  strong  was 
the  storm  that  it  nearly  drove  us  ashore,  so  that  we  had  to 
drop  anchor,  but  we  broke  two  cables,  and  one  ship  began 
to  drag  her  anchor.     Ah  !  the  danger  was  terrible,  for  if 


our  last  cable  had  given  way  we  should  have  been  driven 
ashore  to  destruction,  but  thank  God  we  were  able  to  ease 
the  strain  on  the  cable  by  lashing  it  with  pieces  of  rope 
and  hawsers,  and  at  last  the  weather  moderated.  Then 
we  kept  on  our  course  along  the  coast,  going  ashore 
whenever  we  were  able  to  do  so  to  get  water,  for,  as  I  have 
already  said,  the  casks  we  carried  were  not  only  leaky,  but 
were  gaping  open,  and  we  could  not  depend  upon  them, 
and  we  hoped  that  by  keeping  near  the  coast  we  should  be 
able  to  find  water,  whenever  we  landed,  either  in  pools  or 
by  digging  for  it. 

As  we  were  sailing  along  on  our  course,  we  came  in 
sight  of  a  town,  and  about  a  league  on  the  near  side  of  it, 
there  was  a  bay  which  looked  as  though  it  had  a  river  or 
stream  running  into  it ;  so  we  determined  to  anchor.  On 
this  coast  the  tide  runs  out  so  far  that  there  is  danger  of 
the  ships  being  stranded,  so  for  fear  of  this  we  dropped 
anchor  at  the  distance  of  a  league  from  the  shore,  and  we 
landed  in  that  bay  from  the  vessel  of  least  draught  and 
from  the  boats,  carrying  all  our  casks  along  with  us  to  fill 
them  with  water.  We  landed  soon  after  mid-day,  well 
armed  with  crossbows  and  guns.  This  landing  place  was 
about  a  league  from  the  town,  near  to  some  pools  of 
water,  and  maize  plantations,  and  a  few  small  houses 
built  of  masonry.     The  town  is  called  Potonchan.^ 

^  This  town  is  called  both  Potonchan  and  Chanpoton  by  Bernal 
Diaz,  and  Chanpoton  in  the  "  Itinirario"  and  in  the  Letter  from  the 
Municipality  of  Vera  Cruz  to  Chas.  V.  In  modem  maps  it  is  called 
Champoton.  There  is  a  further  difficulty  about  the  name  of  this 
town,  because  the  town  at  the  mouth  of  the  Rio  de  Grijalva  (Sta. 
Maria  de  la  Victoria)  was  also  called  Potonchon  or  Potonchan.  In 
the  "Relacion  de  la  Villa  de  Santa  Maria  de  la  Victoria"  (i  579),  printed 
in  the  Documentos  Ineditos,  Relaciones  de  Yucatan  (Madrid,  1898) 
we  find :  "  This  province  is  called  the  province  of  Tabasco,  because 
the  Lord  of  this  town  was  called  Tabasco,  and  the  name  of  the  town 
is  Potonchan,  which  in  Spanish  means  the  Chontal  tongue,  almost  as 
though  we  should  say  the  barbarous  tongue,  for  Chontal  in  the  Mexican 
language  is  the  same  as  barbarous,  and  so  this  town  is  called  Poton- 
chan, as  that  is  the  language  generally  used  in  this  province  ;  and  as 


We  filled  our  casks  with  water,  but  we  could  not  carry 
them  away  on  account  of  the  great  number  of  warriors 
who  fell  on  us.  I  will  stop  now  and  tell  later  on  about 
the  attack  they  made  on  us. 


Concerning  the  attack  made  on  us  as  we  stood  among  the 
farms  and  maize  fields  already  mentioned. 

As  we  were  filling  our  casks  with  water  there  came 
along  the  coast  towards  us  from  the  town  of  Potonchan^ 
(as  it  is  called)  many  squadrons  of  Indians  clad  in  cotton 
armour  reaching  to  the  knees,  and  armed  with  bows  and 
arrows,  lances  and  shields,  and  swords  like  two  handed 
broad  swords,  and  slings  and  stones  and  carrying  the 
feathered  crests  which  they  are  accustomed  to  wear. 
Their  faces  were  painted  black  and  white,  and  ruddled 
and  they  came  in  silence  straight  towards  us,  as  though 
they  came  in  peace,  and  by  signs  they  asked  whether  we 
came  from  where  the  sun  rose,  and  we  replied  that  we 
did  come  from  the  direction  of  the  sunrise.  We  were  at 
our  wits  end  considering  the  matter  and  wondering  what 
the  words  were  which  the  Indians  called  out  to  us  for 
they  were  the  same  as  those  used  by  the  people  of  Lázaro, 
but  we  never  made  out  what  it  was  that  they  said. 

the  Lord  of  this  town  was  called  Tabasco  the  province  is  called 

Santa  Maria  de  la  Victoria  appears  to  have  lost  both  its  original 
native  and  its  Spanish  name,  and  soon  became  known  as  the  town  of 
Tabasco,  and  is  so  marked  on  the  map  of  Melchor  de  Santa  Cruz 
(1579)  ;  not  long  afterwards  the  town  itself  disappeared. 

Chanpoton  has  retained  its  name,  and  when  Bernal  Diaz  mentions 
Chanpoton  or  Potonchan  he  invariably  intends  to  indicate  the  site  of 
the  modem  Champoton,  between  Campeche  and  the  Laguna  de 
Términos,  the  "Costa  de  Mala  Pelea"  of  the  expedition  under 
Francisco  Hernandez  de  Cordova. 

*  Here  written  Pontuchan  in  the  original  text  =  Chanpoton. 

Series  II.    Vol.  XXIII. 

~  ,W  ('H  > »  1    > 

On    o  # 


Par/  o/  a  Mural  Painting  of  a 


After  a  drawing  by  Miss  Adda  Breton. 

Reproduced  and  printed  for  tin.'  Haklayt  Society  bv  Donald  Macbeth,  1908. 

Plate  2.  To  face  page  22. 


All  this  happened  about  the  time  of  the  Ave  Maria, 
and  the  Indians  then  went  ofif  to  some  villages  in  the 
neighbourhood,  and  we  posted  watchmen  and  sentinels 
for  security,  for  we  did  not  like  such  a  large  gathering 
of  Indians. 

While  we  were  keeping  watch  during  the  night  we 
heard  a  great  squadron  of  Indian  warriors  approaching 
from  the  town  and  from  the  farms,  and  we  knew  well  that 
their  assembly  boded  us  no  good,  and  we  took  council 
together  as  to  what  should  be  done.  Some  of  the  soldiers 
were  of  opinion  that  we  should  embark  without  delay  ; 
however  as  always  happens  in  such  cases,  some  said  one 
thing  and  some  said  another,  but  the  Indians  being  in 
such  numbers  it  seemed  to  most  of  my  companions  that 
if  we  made  any  attempt  to  embark  they  would  be  sure 
to  attack  us,  and  we  should  run  great  risk  of  losing  our 
lives.  Some  others  were  of  opinion  that  we  should  fall 
upon  the  Indians  that  very  night,  for,  as  the  proverb 
says  "  who  attacks  conquers ".  On  the  other  hand  we 
could  see  that  there  were  about  two  hundred  Indians  to 
every  one  of  us.  While  we  were  still  taking  council  the 
dawn  broke,  and  we  said  one  to  the  other  "  let  us 
strengthen  our  hearts  for  the  fight,  and  after  commend- 
ing ourselves  to  God  let  us  do  our  best  to  save  our 

As  soon  as  it  was  daylight  we  could  see,  coming  along 
the  coast,  many  more  Indian  warriors  with  their  banners 
raised,  and  with  feathered  crests  and  drums,  and  they 
joined  those  warriors  who  had  assembled  the  night 
before.  When  their  squadrons  were  formed  up  they 
surrounded  us  on  all  sides  and  poured  in  such  showers 
of  arrows  and  darts,  and  stones  thrown  from  their  slings 
that  over  eighty  of  us  soldiers  were  wounded,  and  they 
attacked  us  hand  to  hand,  some  with  lances  and  the 
others    shooting    arrows,    and    others    with    two-handed 


knife  edged  swords,^  and  they  brought  us  to  a  bad  pass. 
We  gave  them  a  good  return  of  thrusts  and  cuts  and  the 
guns  and  crossbows  never  ceased  their  work,  some  being 
loaded  while  the  others  were  fired.  At  last  feeling  the 
effects  of  our  sword. play  they  drew  back  a  little,  but 
it  was  not  far,  and  only  enabled  them  to  shoot  their 
stones  and  darts  at  us  with  greater  safety  to  them- 

While  the  battle  was  raging  the  Indians  called  to  one 
another  in  their  language  "a/  Calachuni^  CalachunV^  which 
means  "  let  us  attack  the  Captain  and  kill  him,"  and  ten 
times  they  wounded  him  with  their  arrows  ;  and  me  they 
struck  thrice,  one  arrow  wounding  me  dangerously  in  the 
left  side,  piercing  through  the  ribs.  All  the  other  soldiers 
were  wounded  by  spear  thrusts  and  two  of  them  were 
carried  off  alive,  one  named  Alonzo  Boto,  and  the  other 
an  old  Portuguese  man. 

Our  captain  then  saw  that  our  good  fighting  availed  us 
nothing  ;  other  squadrons  of  warriors  were  approaching 
us  fresh  from  the  town,  bringing  food  and  drink  with  them 
and  a  large  supply  of  arrows.  All  our  soldiers  were 
wounded  with  two  or  three  arrow  wounds,  three  of  them 
had  their  throats  pierced  by  lance  thrusts,  our  captain  was 
bleeding  from  many  wounds  and  already  fifty  of  the 
soldiers  were  lying  dead. 

Feeling  that  our  strength  was  exhausted  we  determined 
with  stout  hearts  to  break  through  the  battalions  sur- 
rounding us  and  seek  shelter  in  the  boats  which  awaited 
us  near  the  shore,  and  proved  to  be  a  great  assistance  to 
us  ;  so  we  formed  in  close  array  and  broke  through  the 

Ah  !    then  to  hear  the  yells,  hisses  and    cries,  as  the 

^  Macana  or  Macnahuitl^  a  wooden  sword  edged  with  sharp  flint 
or  obsidian. 


enemy  showered  arrows  on  us  and  hurled  lances  with  all 
their  might,  wounding  us  sorely. 

Then  another  danger  befell  us ;  as  we  all  sought  shelter 
in  the  boats  at  the  same  time  and  there  were  so  many 
of  us  they  began  to  sink,  so  in  the  best  way  we  could 
manage  hanging  on  to  the  waterlogged  boats  and  half 
swimming,  we  reached  the  vessel  of  lightest  draught  which 
came  in  all  haste  to  our  assistance. 

Many  of  us  were  wounded  while  we  embarked,  especially 
those  who  were  sitting  in  the  stern  of  the  boats,  for  the 
Indians  shot  at  them  as  targets,  and  even  waded  into  the 
sea  with  their  lances  and  attacked  us  with  all  their  strength. 
Thank  God  !  by  a  great  effort  we  escaped  with  our  lives 
from  the  clutches  of  those  people. 

When  we  got  on  board  the  ships  we  found  that  over 
fifty  of  our  soldiers  were  missing,  among  them  two  who 
had  been  carried  off  alive.  Within  a  few  days  we  had  to 
cast  into  the  sea  five  others  who  died  of  their  wounds 
and  of  the  great  thirst  which  we  suffered.  The  whole  of 
the  fighting  occupied  only  one  hour. 

The  place  is  called  Potonchan,^  but  the  pilots  and 
sailors  have  marked  it  on  the  chart  as  the  "Costa  de 
Mala  Pelea"  (the  coast  of  the  disastrous  battle).  When 
we  were  safely  out  of  that  affray  we  gave  hearty  thanks 
to  God. 

As  the  wounds  of  the  soldiers  were  being  dressed,  some 
of  them  complained  of  the  pain  they  felt,  for  they  began 
to  be  chilled  and  the  salt  water  caused  considerable 
swelling,  and  some  of  them  began  to  curse  the  pilot  Anton 
de  Alaminos  and  his  voyage  and  discovery  of  the  Island, 
for  he  always  maintained  that  it  was  an  Island  and  not 
the  main  land. 

Here  I  must  leave  off  and  I  will  tell  what  happened 
to  us  later  on. 

^  Chanpotoii. 



How  we  agreed  to  return  to  the  Island  of  Cuba  and  of  the  great 
hardships  we  endured  before  arriving  at  the  Port  of  Havana. 

As  soon  as  we  got  on  board  ship  again,  in  the  way  I 
have  related,  we  gave  thanks  to  God,  and  after  we  had 
attended  to  the  wounded  (and  there  was  not  a  man  among 
us  who  had  not  two,  three  or  four  wounds,  and  the  Captain 
was  wounded  in  ten  places  and  only  one  soldier  escaped 
without  hurt)  we  decided  to  return  to  Cuba. 

As  almost  all  the  sailors  also  were  wounded  we  were 
shorthanded  for  tending  the  sails,  so  we  abandoned  the 
smallest  vessel  and  set  fire  to  her  after  removing  the  sails, 
cables  and  anchors,  and  we  divided  the  sailors  who  were 
unwounded  between  the  two  larger  vessels.  However, 
our  greatest  trouble  arose  from  the  want  of  fresh  water, 
for  owing  to  the  attack  made  on  us  at  Chanpoton,  and 
the  haste  with  which  we  had  to  take  to  the  boats,  we 
could  not  carry  away  with  us  the  casks  and  barrels 
which  we  had  filled  with  water,  and  they  were  all  left 

So  great  was  our  thirst  that  our  mouths  and  tongues 
were  cracked  with  the  dryness,  and  there  was  nothing  to 
give  us  relief.  Oh !  what  hardshipá  one  endures,  when 
discovering  new  lands,  in  the  way  we  set  out  to  do  it ;  no 
one  can  appreciate  the  excessive  hardships  who  has  not 
passed  through  them  as  we  did. 

We  kept  our  course  close  to  the  land  in  hope  of  finding 
some  stream  or  bay  where  we  could  get  fresh  water,  and 
at  the  end  of  three  days  we  found  a  bay  where  there  ~ 
appeared  to  be  a  river  or  creek  which  we  thought  might 
hold  fresh  water.  Fifteen  of  the  sailors  who  had  remained 
on  board  and  were  unwounded  and  three  soldiers  who 
were  out  of  danger  from  their  wounds  went  ashore,  and 


they  took  hoes  with  them,  and  some  barrels  to  fill  with 
water ;  but  the  water  of  the  creek  was  salt,  so  they  dug 
holes  on  the  beach,  but  there  also  the  water  was  as  salt 
and  bitter  as  that  in  the  creek.  However,  bad  as  the 
water  was,  they  filled  the  casks  with  it  and  brought  it 
on  board,  but  no  one  could  drink  such  water  and  it  did 
harm  to  the  mouths  and  bodies  of  the  few  soldiers  who 
attempted  to  drink  it. 

There  were  so  many  large  alligators  in  that  creek  that 
it  has  always  been  known  as  the  estero  de  los  Lagartos  and 
so  it  is  marked  on  the  charts. 

While  the  boats  went  ashore  for  water  there  arose  such 
a  violent  gale  from  the  North  East  that  the  ships  began  to 
drag  their  anchors  and  drift  towards  the  shore,  for  on  that 
coast  contrary  winds  prevail  from  the  North  or  North  East. 
When  the  sailors  who  had  gone  on  shore  saw  what  the 
weather  was  like  they  returned  with  the  boats  in  hot 
haste  and  arrived  in  time  to  put  out  other  anchors  and 
cables,  so  that  the  ships  rode  in  safety  for  two  days  and 
nigh*ts.  Then  we  got  up  anchor  and  set  sail  continuing 
our  voyage  back  to  the  island  of  Cuba. 

The  pilot  Alaminos  then  took  council  with  the  other  two 
pilots,  and  it  was  settled  that  from  the  place  we  then  were 
we  should  cross  over  to  Florida,  for  he  judged  from  his 
charts  and  observations  that  it  was  about  seventy  leagues 
distant,  and  that  having  arrived  in  Florida  they  said  that 
it  would  be  an  easier  voyage  and  shorter  course  to  reach 
Havana  than  the  course  by  which  we  had  come. 

We  did  as  the  pilot  advise.d,  for  it  seems  that  he  had 
accompanied  Juan  Ponce  de  Leon  on  his  voyage  of 
discovery  to  Florida  fourteen  or  fifteen  years  earlier,^ 
when    in  that  same  land  Juan   Ponce  was  defeated  and 

*  Juan   Ponce   de   Leon    discovered    Florida    on  Easter  Sunday 
(Pascua  Florida),  27th  March,  15 13. 


killed.  After  four  days'  sail  we  came  in  sight  of  the 
land  of  Florida,  and  what  happened  to  us  there  I  will 
tell  next. 


How  twenty- of  us  soldiers  went  ashore  in  the  Bay  of  Florida,  in 
company  with  the  Pilot  Alaminos,  to  look  for  water,  and  the 
attack  that  the  natives  of  the  land  made  on  us,  and  what  else 
happened  before  we  returned  to  Havana. 

When  we  reached  Florida  it  was  arranged  that  twenty 
of  the  soldiers,  those  whose  wounds  were  best  healed, 
should  go  ashore.  I  went  with  them,  and  also  the  Pilot, 
Anton  de  Alaminos,  and  we  carried  with  us  such  vessels 
>  as  we  still  possessed,  and  hoes,  and  our  crossbows  and 
guns.  As  the  Captain  was  very  badly  wounded,  and 
much  weakened  by  the  great  thirst  he  had  endured,  he 
prayed  us  on  no  account  to  fail  in  bringing  back  fresh 
water  as  he  was  parching  and  dying  of  thirst,  for,  as  I 
have  already  said,  the  water  we  had  on  board  was  salt 
and  not  fit  to  drink. 

We  landed  near  a  creek  which  opened  towards  the  sea, 
and  the  Pilot  Alaminos  carefully  examined  the  coast  and 
said  that  ,he  had  been  at  this  very  spot  when  he  came 
on  a  voyage  of  discovery  with  Juan  Ponce  de  Leon  and 
that  the  Indians  of  the  country  had  attacked  them  and 
had  killed  many  soldiers,  and  that  it  behoved  us  to  keep 
a  very  sharp  look  out.  We  at  once  posted  two  soldiers 
as  sentinels  while  we  dug  deep  holes  on  a  broad  beach 
where  we  thought  we  should  find  fresh  water,  for  at  that 
hour  the  tide  had  ebbed.  It  pleased  God  that  we  should 
come  on  very  good  water,  and  so  overjoyed  were  we  that 
what  with  satiating  our  thirst,  and  washing  out  cloths  with 
which  to  bind  up  wounds,  we  must  have  stayed  there  an 
hour.     When,  at  last,  very  well  satisfied,  we  wished  to  go 


on  board  with  the  water,  we  saw  one  of  the  soldiers  whom 
we  had  placed  on  guard  coming  towards  us  crying  out, 
"  to  arms,  to  arms !  many  Indian  warriors  are  coming  on 
foot  and  others  down  the  creek  in  canoes."  The  soldier 
who  came  shouting,  and  the  Indians  reached  us  nearly  at 
the  same  time. 

These  Indians  carried  very  long  bows  and  good  arrows 
and  lances,  and  some  weapons  like  swords,  and  they  were 
clad  in  deerskins  and  were  very  big  men.  They  came 
straight  on  and  let  fly  their  arrows  and  at  once  wounded 
six  of  us,  and  to  me  they  dealt  a  slight  arrow  wound. 
However,  we  fell  on  them  with  such  rapidity  of  cut  and 
thrust  of  sword  and  so  plied  the  crossbows  and  guns  that 
they  left  us  to  ourselves  and  set  off"  to  the  sea  and  the 
creek  to  help  their  companions  who  had  come  in  the 
canoes  and  were  fighting  hand  to  hand  with  the  sailors, 
whose  boat  was  already  captured  and  was  being  towed 
by  the  canoes  up  the  creek,  four  of  the  sailors  being 
wounded,  and  the  Pilot  Alaminos  badly  hurt  in  the 
throat.  Then  we  fell  upon  them,  with  the  water  above 
our  waists,  and  at  the  point  of  the  sword,  we  made 
them  abandon  the  boat.  Twenty  of  the  Indians  lay 
dead  on  the  shore  or  in  the  water,  and  three  who  were 
slightly  wounded  we  took  prisoners,  but  they  died  on 
board  ship. 

As  soon  as  the  skirmish  was  over  we  asked  the  soldier 
who  had  been  placed  on  guard  what  had  become  of  his 
companion  Berrio  (for  so  he  was  named).  He  replied 
that  he  had  seen  him  go  off  with  an  axe  in  his  hand  to 
cut  down  a  small  palm  tree,  and  that  he  went  towards 
the  creek,  whence  the  Indian  warriors  had  approached 
us,  that  he  then  heard  cries  in  Spanish,  and  on  that 
account  he  had  hurried  towards  us  to  give  us  warning, 
and  it  was  then  that  his  companion  must  have  been 


The  soldier  who  had  disappeared  was  the  only  man 
who  had  escaped  unwounded  from  the  fight  at  Poton- 
chan^  and  it  was  his  fate  to  come  on  here  to  die.  We 
at  once  set  to  work  to  search  for  our  soldier  along  the 
trail  made  by  the  Indians  who  had  attacked  us.  We 
found  a  palm  tree  partly  cut  through,  and  near  by  the 
ground  was  much  trampled  by  footsteps  more  than  in 
other  parts,  and  as  there  was  no  trace  of  blood  we  took  it 
for  certain  that  they  had  carried  him  off  alive.  We 
searched  and  shouted  all  round  about  for  more  than  an 
hour,  but  finding  no  trace  of  him  we  got  into  the  boats 
and  carried  the  fresh  water  to  the  ship,  at  which  the 
soldiers  were  as  overjoyed  as  though  we  had  given  them 
their  lives.  One  soldier  jumped  from  the  ship  into  the 
boat,  so  great  was  his  thirst,  and  clasping  a  jar  of  water 
to  his  chest  drank  so  much  water  that  he  swelled  up  and 
died  within  two  days. 

As  soon  as  we  had  got  the  water  on  board  and  had 
hauled  up  the  boats,  we  set  sail  for  Havana,  and  during 
the  next  day  and  night  the  weather  was  fair  and  we  were 
near  some  Islands  called  Los  Martires  among  the  shoals 
called  the  shoals  of  the  Martyrs.  Our  deepest  soundings 
gave  four  fathoms,  and  the  flagship  struck  the  ground 
when  going  between  the  Islands  and  made  water  fast,  and 
with  all  of  us  soldiers  working  at  the  pumps  we  were 
not  able  to  check  it,  and  we  were  in  fear  of  foundering. 

We  had  some  Levantine  sailors  on  board  with  us,  and 
we  called  to  them,  "  Comrades,  come  and  help  to  work  the 
pump,  for  you  can  see  that  we  are  all  badly  wounded  and 
weary  from  working  day  and  night."  And  the  Levantines 
answered,  "  Do  it  yourselves,  for  we  do  not  get  any  pay  as 
you  do,  but  only  hunger  and  thirst,  toil  and  wounds."  So 
then  we  made  them  help  us  with  the  work. 

^  Chanpoton. 


111  and  wounded  as  we  were  we  managed  to  trim  the 
sails  and  work  the  pump  until  our  Lord  carried  us  into 
the  Port  of  Carenas/  where  now  stands  the  city  of 
Havana,  but  it  used  to  be  called  Puerto  de  Carenas,  and 
when  we  got  to  land  we  gave  thanks  to  God. 

I  must  remember  to  say  that  when  we  got  to  Havana,  a 
Portuguese  diver  who  happened  to  be  in  that  port  soon 
got  the  water  out  of  the  flagship. 

We  wrote  in  great  haste  to  the  Governor  of  the  Island, 
Diego  Velasquez,  telling  him  that  we  had  discovered 
thickly  -  peopled  countries,  with  masonry  houses,  and 
people  who  covered  their  persons  and  went  about  clothed 
in  cotton  garments,  and  who  possessed  gold  and  who 
cultivated  maize  fields,  and  other  matters  which  I  have 

From  Havana  our  Captain  Francisco  Hernandez  went 
by  land  to  the  town  of  Santispiritus,  for  so  it  is  called,  of 
which  he  was  a  citizen,  and  where  he  had  his  Indians  ; 
but  he  was  so  badly  wounded  that  he  died  within  ten 

Three  soldiers  died  of  their  wounds  in  Havana,  and  all 
the  rest  of  us  dispersed  and  went  some  to  one  and  some 
to  other  parts  of  the  Island.  The  ships  went  on  to 
Santiago  where  the  Governor  was  living,  and  the  two 
Indians  whom  we  captured  at  Cape  Catoche,  whom  we 
named  Melchorejo  and  Julianillo  were  sent  on  shore,  as 
were  also  the  little  chest  with  the  diadems  and  the  ducks 
and  little  fish  and  other  articles  of  gold  and  the  many 
idols.  These  showed  such  skilful  workmanship  that  the 
fame  of  them  travelled  throughout  the  Islands  including 
Santo  Domingo  and  Jamaica  and  even  reached  Spain.  It 
was  said  that  better  lands  had  never  been  discovered  in  the 
world  ;  and  when  the  pottery  idols  with  so  many  different 

*  The  Havana  of  to-day. 


shapes  were  seen,  it  was  said  that  they  belonged  to  the 
Gentiles,  and  others  said  that  they  were  the  work  of  the 
Jews  whom  Titus  and  Vespasian  had  turned  out  of  Jeru- 
salem and  sent  to  sea  in  certain  ships  which  had  carried 
them  to  this  land  which  as  Peru  was  as  yet  undiscovered 
(indeed  it  was  not  discovered  for  another  twenty  years) 
was  held  in  high  estimation. 

There  was  another  matter  about  which  Diego  Velasquez 
questioned  these  Indians,  whether  there  were  gold  mines 
in  their  country,  and  to  all  his  questions  they  answered  by 
signs  "  Yes."  They  were  shown  gold  dust,  and  they  said 
that  there  was  much  of  it  in  their  land,  and  they  did  not 
speak  the  truth,  for  it  is  clear  that  neither  at  Cape  Catoche 
nor  in  all  Yucatan  are  there  any  mines  either  of  gold  or  of 
silver.  These  Indians  were  also  shown  the  mounds  of 
earth  in  which  the  plants  are  set,  from  the  roots  of  which 
Cassava  bread  is  made.  This  plant  is  called  Yuca  in  the 
Island  of  Cuba  and  the  Indians  said  that  it  grew  in  their 
country,  and  they  said  Tlati  for  so  they  call  the  ground  in 
which  the  roots  are  planted  ;  and,  because  Yuca  and  Tlati 
would  make  Yucatan  the  Spaniards  who  had  joined  in  the 
conversation  between  Diego  Velasquez  and  the  Indians, 
said,  **  Senor,  these  Indians  say  that  their  country  is 
called  Yucutlan''  \  so  it  kept  that  name,  but  in  their  own 
language  they  do  not  call  it  by  that  name. 

I  must  leave  this  subject  and  say  that  all  of  us  soldiers 
who  went  on  that  voyage  of  discovery  spent  the  little  we 
possessed  on  it  and  we  returned  to  Cuba  wounded  and  in 
debt.  So  each  soldier  \^ent  his  own  way.  and  soon  after- 
wards our  captain  died,  and  we  were  a  long  time  recovering 
from  our  wounds,  and  according  to  our  count,  fifty-seven 
soldiers  died,  and  this  was  all  the  profit  we  gained  by  that 
expedition  and  discovery.  But  Diego  Velasquez  wrote 
to  the  Lor*  Councillors  who  were  at  that  time  managing 
the  Royal  Council  of  the  Indies,  to  say  that  he  had  made 


the  discovery,  and  had  expended  on  the  expedition  a 
great  number  of  gold  dollars,  and  so  it  was  stated  and 
published  by  Don  Juan  Rodriguez  de  Fonseca,  Bishop  of 
Burgos  and  Archbishop  of  Rosano  (for  thus  he  was  called) 
who  was  President  of  the  Council  of  the  Indies,  and  he 
wrote  to  that  effect  to  His  Majesty  in  Flanders,  giving 
much  credit  in  his  letters  to  Diego  Velasquez,  and  he 
made  no  mention  of  us  who  made  the  discovery.  Now  I 
must  stop,  and  I  will  tell  later  about  the  hardships  which 
befel  me  and  three  other  soldiers. 


About  the  hardships  I  endured  on  the  way  to  a  town  called 

I  HAVE  already  said  that  some  of  us  soldiers  who  had  not 
yet  recovered  from  our  wounds  remained  in  Havana,  and 
when  we  had  got  better  three  of  us  soldiers  wished  to  go 
to  the  town  of  Trinidad,  and  we  arranged  to  go  with  a 
certain  Pedro  de  Avila,  a  resident  in  Havana  who  was 
going  to  make  the  voyage  in  a  canoe  along  the  southern 
coast.^  The  canoe  was  laden  with  cotton  shirts  which 
Pedro  de  Avila  intended  to  sell  at  the  town  of  Trinidad. 

I  have  already  said  that  the  canoes  are  made  like  hollow 
troughs,  and  in  these  countries  they  are  used  for  paddling 
along  the  coasts. 

The  arrangement  we  made  with  Avila  was  that  we 
should  give  him  ten  gold  dollars  to  take  us  in  his  canoe. 
So  we  set  out  along  the  coast,  sometimes  rowing  and 
sometimes  sailing,  and  after  eleven  days  travelling,  when 
near  a  village  of  friendly  Indians,  called  Canarreo,  which 

*  Bernal  Diaz  crossed  overland  to  San  Cristóval  de  Havana— the 
Havana  of  that  time— situated  on  the  south  coast  (pn  the  river 
Onicaxinal,  see  Orozcoy  Berra,  vol.  iv.,  p.  71),  and  thence  took  canoe 
to  Trinidad 


was  the  boundary  of  the  township  of  Trinidad,  there  arose 
such  a  heavy  gale  in  the  night  that  the  canoe  could  not 
make  headway  against  the  sea  although  we  were  all  of 
us  rowing,  as  well  as  Pedro  de  Ávila  and  some  Indians 
from  Havana,  very  good  rowers  whom  we  had  hired  to 
come  with  us ;  we  were  cast  upon  some  rocks  {Seborucos\ 
which  thereabouts  are  very  large,  and  in  so  doing  the  canoe 
went  to  pieces  and  Avila  lost  his  property.  We  all  got 
ashore  disabled  and  naked  to  the  skin,  for  so  as  to  swim 
more  freely  in  our  efforts  to  keep  the  canoe  from  breaking 
up  we  had  thought  it  best  to  take  off  all  our  clothes. 

Having  escaped  from  that  mishap  we  found  that  there 
was  no  trail  along  the  coast  to  the  town  of  Trinidad, 
nothing  but  rough  ground  and  Seborucos  as  they  call 
them,  stones  that  pierce  the  soles  of  one's  feet ;  moreover 
the  waves  continually  broke  over  us,  and  we  had  nothing 
whatever  to  eat.  To  shorten  the  list  of  hardships  I  will 
leave  out  all  one  might  say  about  the  bleeding  from  our 
feet  and  other  parts  of  our  bodies. 

It  pleased  God  that  after  great  toil  we  came  out  on  a 
sandy  beach,  and  after  travelling  along  it  for  two  days  we 
arrived  at  an  Indian  village  named  Yaguarama,  which  at 
that  time  belonged  to  Padre  Fray  Bartolomé  de  las  Casas 
who  was  the  parish  priest,  whom  I  afterwards  knew  as  a 
doctor  and  a  Dominican  friar,  and  who  afterwards  became 
Bishop  of  Chiapas, — and  at,  that  village  they  gave  us  food. 

Next  day  we  went  on  to  a  village  called  Chipiana  which 
belonged  to  Alonzo  de  Avila,  and  a  certain  Sandoval, 
(not  the  Captain  Sandoval  of  New  Spain,  but  another,  a 
native  of  Tudela  de  Duero)  and  from  there  we  went  to 

A  friend  and  countryman  of  mine  named  Antonio  de 
Medina  supplied  me  with  some  clothes,  such  as  are 
worn  in  the  Island.  From  Trinidad  with  my  poverty 
and  hardships  I  went  to  Santiago  de  Cuba  where  lived 


the  Governor,  who  received  me  with  a  good  grace ;  he 
was  already  making  haste  to  send  off  another  fleet. 

When  I  went  to  pay  my  respects  to  him,  for  we  were 
kinsmen,  he  joked  with  me,  and  going  from  one  subject 
to  another,  asked  me  if  I  was  well  enough  to  return  to 
Yucatan,  and  I,  laughing,  asked  him  who  had  given  the 
name  Yucatan  for  in  that  country  it  was  not  so  called, 
and  he  replied,  "the  Indians  you  brought  back  with  you 
call  it  so,"  so  I  told  him  "  you  had  better  call  it  the  land 
where  half  the  soldiers  who  went  there  were  killed  and  all 
those  who  escaped  death  were  wounded."  He  answered, 
"  I  know  that  you  suffered  many  hardships,  that  always 
happens  to  those  who  set  out  to  discover  new  lands  and 
gain  honour,  and  His  Majesty  will  reward  you,  and  I  will 
write  to  him  about  it,  and  now  my  son,  go  again  in  the 
fleet  I  am  getting  ready  and  I  will  tell  the  Captain  Juan  de 
Grijalva  to  treat  you  with  honour."  ,  I  will  stop  here  and 
relate  what  happened  later. 

Here  ends  the  discovery  made  by  Francisco  Hernandez 
whom  Bernal  Diaz  del  Castillo  accompanied  ; — Let  us 
relate  what  Diego  Velasquez  was  proposing  to  do. 

D  2 



How  Diego  Velasquez,  Governor  of  the  Island  of  Cuba,  ordered 
another  fleet  to  be  sent  to  the  lands  which  we  had  discovered 
and  a  kinsman  of  his,  a  nobleman  named  Juan  de  Grijalva, 
went  as  Captain  General,  besides  three  other  Captains,  whose 
names  I  will  give  later  on. 

In  the  year  1518  the  Governor  of  Cuba  hearing  the 
good  account  of  the  land  which  we  had  discovered, 
which  is  called  Yucatan,  decided  to  send  out  another 
fleet,  and  made  search  for  four  vessels  to  compose  it 
Two  of  these  vessels  were  two  of  the  three  which  had 
accompanied  Francisco  Hernandez,  the  other  two  were 
vessels  which  Diego  Velasquez  bought  with  his  own 

At  the  time  the  fleet  was  being  fitted  out,  there  were 
present  in  Santiago  de  Cuba,  where  Velasquez  resided 
Juan  de  Grijalva,  Alonzo  de  Avila,  Francisco  de  Montejo, 
and  Pedro  de  Alvarado,  who  had  come  to  see  the 
Governor  on  business,  for  all  of  them  held  encomiendas 
of  Indians  in  the  Island.  As  they  were  men  of  dis- 
tinction, it  was  agreed  that  Juan  de  Grijalva  who  was 
a  kinsman  of  Diego  Velasquez,  should  go  as  Captain 
General,  that  Alonzo  de  Avila,  Pedro  de  Alvarado,  and 
Francisco  de  Montejo  should  each  have  command  of  a 
ship.  Each  of  these  Captains  contributed  the  provisions 
and  stores  of  Cassava  bread  and  salt  pork,  and  Diego 
Velasquez  provided  the  four  ships,  crossbows  and  guns, 
some  beads  and  other  articles  of  small  value  for  barter. 

Series  II.    Vol.  XXIll. 



i*^'7w  3^  Imy/f^dC'  ■   ^--^j^ 

Facaimile  (reduced)  of  Title-page  of 

Showing  portraits  of  DiEGO  VELASQUEZ,  &  JUAN  DE  GRIJALVA. 

Prom  Mr,  Orenville^s  coþy  in  the  British  Museutn. 
Reproduced  and  printed  for  the  Hakluyt  Society  by  Donald  Macbeth,  I90S. 


and  a  small  supply  of  beans.  Then  Diego  Velasquez 
ordered  that  I  should  go  with  these  Captains  as  ensign. 

As  the  report  had  spread  that  the  lands  were  very  rich 
and  that  there  were  masonry  houses  there,  and  the  Indian 
Julianillo  whom  we  had  brought  from  Cape  Catoche  had 
said  that  there  was  gold,  the  soldiers  and  settlers  who 
possessed  no  Indians  in  Cuba  were  greedily  eager  to  go 
to  the  new  land,  so  that  240  companions  were  soon  got 

Then  every  one  of  us,  out  of  his  own  funds,  added  what 
he  could  of  stores  and  arms  and  other  suitable  things ; 
and  I  set  out  again  on  this  voyage  as  ensign,  as  I  have 
already  stated. 

As  /ar  as  I  can  make  out  the  instructions  given  by  the 
Governor  were  that  we  should  obtain  by  barter  all  the 
gold  and  silver  that  could  be  procured,  and  that  if  it 
appeared  to  be  advisable  to  form  a  settlement,  and  if 
we  could  venture  to  do  so,  that  a  settlement  should  be 
made,  but  if  not  that  then  we  should  return  to  Cuba. 

There  came  with  us,  as  Veedor  of  the  fleet,  a  man 
named  Peiialosa,  a  native  of  Segovia,  and  we  took  with 
us  a  priest  named  Juan  Diaz,  a  native  of  Seville,  and  the 
same  two  pilots  who  were  with  us  on  the  former  voyage, 
namely,  Anton  de  Alaminos  of  Palos,  Camacho  of  Triana, 
besides  Juan  Alvarez  el  Manquillo,  from  Huelva,  and 
there  was  also  another  pilot  who  called  himself  Sopuesta, 
who  came  from  Moguer. 

Before  I  go  any  further,  as  I  shall  have  to  speak  many 
times  of  these  hidalgos  who  were  our  Captains,  and  it 
seems  to  me  discourteous  merely  to  give  their  names,  let 
it  be  known  that  later  on  they  all  become  persons  of  title  ; 
Pedro  de  Alvarado  became  Adelantado^  and  Governor  of 
Guatemala  and  a  Commander  of  the  Order  of  Santiago, 

*  Adelantado  =  Govemor-in-chie£ 


Montejo,  Adelantado  of  Yucatan  and  Governor  of  Hon- 
duras, but  Alonzo  de  Avila  did  not  have  the  same  luck  as 
the  others  for  he  was  captured  by  the  French,  as  I  will 
relate  later  on  in  the  chapter  which  treats  of  the  subject 
I  shall  speak  of  these  gentlemen  simply  by  their  own 
names,  until  such  time  as  His  Majesty  conferred  on  them 
the  dignities  I  have  mentioned. 

To  return  to  my  story ;  we  set  out  in  the  four  ships 
along  the  north  coast  to  a  port  called  Matanzas,  near  to 
the  old  Havana,^  (for  at  that  time  Havana  was  not  in  its 
present  position),  and  in  that  port  most  of  the  settlers  of 
Havana  had  their  farms  whence  the  ships  obtained  all  the 
supplies  they  needed  of  Cassava  and  'pork,  for,  as  I  have 
already  said,  there  were  as  yet  neither  sheep  nor  cattle  in 
Cuba,  for  the  Island  was  but  lately  conquered.  Here  we 
were  joined  by  the  Captains  and  soldiers  who  were  going 
to  make  the  voyage. 

Before  going  on,  although  it  does  not  concern  the  story, 
I  wish  to  say  why  this  port  was  called  Matanzas.  I  call  it 
to  mind  because  I  have  been  asked  the  question  by  a 
historian  in  Spain  who  records  matters  that  have  hap- 
pened, and  this  is  the  reason  why  the  name  was  given  it 
Before  the  Island  of  Cuba  was  conquered  a  ship  with  more 
than  thirty  Spanish  men  and  two  women  on  board  was 
driven  ashore  on  the  coast  near  the  river  and  port  now 
called  Matanzas.  Many  Indians  from  Havana  and  the 
neighbouring  towns  came  out  with  the  intention  of  killing 
the  Spaniards,  but  as  the  Indians  did  not  dare  to  attack 
them  on  land,  they  offered,  with  fair  words  and  flattery, 
to  ferry  the  Spaniards  in  canoes  across  the  river,  which  is 
very  large  and  rapid,  and  to  take  them  to  their  houses  and 
give  them  food. 

When  the  middle  of  the  river  was  reached,  the  Indians 

^  Axaruco. 


upset  the  canoes  and  killed  all  the  Spaniards  except  three 
men  and  one  woman  who  was  beautiful  and  was  carried 
off  by  one  of  the  caciques  concerned  in  the  plot,  and 
the  three  Spanish  men  were  divided  among  the  other 
caciques.  This  is  the  reason  why  the  place  is  called 

I  knew  the  woman,  and  after  the  conquest  of  Cuba 
she  was  taken  from  the  Cacique  in  whose  power  she  had 
been,  and  I  saw  her  married  to  a  settler  named  Pedro 
Sanchez  Farfan  in  the  town  of  Trinidad.  I  also  knew  the 
three  Spaniards,  one  was  named  Gonzalo  Mejia,  an  old 
man  from  Jerez,  another  was  Juan  Santistéban,  a  youth 
from  Madrigal,  and  the  other  was  called  Cascorro*  a 
seaman,  a  native  of  Moguer. 

I  have  delayed  too  long  in  telling  this  old  tale,  and  it 
will  be  said  that  in  spinning  old  yarns  I  am  forgetting  my 
narrative,  so  let  us  get  back  to  it : — 

As  soon  as  all  of  us  soldiers  had  got  together  and  the 
pilots  had  received  their  instructions  and  the  lantern 
signals  had  been  arranged,  after  hearing  mass,  we  set  out 
on  the  8th  April,  1518. 

In  ten  days  we  doubled  the  point  of  Guaniguanico 
which  is  also  called  San  Anton  and  after  eight  days 
sailing  we  sighted  the  Island  of  Cozumel,'  which  was  then 
first  discovered,  for  with  the  current  that  was  running 
we  made  much  more  lee-way  than  when  we  came  with 
Francisco  Hernandez  de  Cordova,  and  we  went  along  the 
south  side  of  the    Island   and    sighted   a   town   with   a 

*  /.^.,  the  place  of  killing. 

•  The  Alonzo  Remón  Edition  adds  :  "  The  cacique  with  whom  he 
stayed  married  him  to  his  daughter,  and  he  had  his  ears  and  nose 
pierced  like  an  Indian." 

'  This  would  imply  that  land  was  first  sighted  on  the  26th  April. 
The  Itinerario  says  that  the  fleet  left  Cuba  on  the  ist  May,  and 
that  land  was  sighted  on  the  3rd  May,  and  as  it  was  the  day  of  Santa 
Cruz  they  gave  the  land  that  name. 

40         THE  StÓRV  Of  THE  CAKOE  TtíAT  DRlfTEÖ 

few  houses,  near  which  was  a  good  anchorage  free  from 

We  went  on  shore  with  the  Captain  and  a  large  company 
of  soldiers,  and  the  natives  of  the  town  had  taken  to  flight 
as  soon  as  they  saw  the  ships  coming  under  sail,  for  they 
had  never  seen  such  a  thing  before. 

We  soldiers  who  landed  found  two  old  men,  who  could 
not  walk  far,  hidden  in  the  maize  fields  and  we  brought 
them  to  the  Captain.  With  the  help  of  the  two  Indians 
Julianillo  and  Melchorejo  whom  Francisco  Hernandez 
brought  away,  who  thoroughly  understood  that  language 
(for  there  is  not  more  than  four  leagues  of  sea  between 
their  land  and  the  Island  of  Cozumel,  and  the  language  is 
the  same)  the  captain  spoke  kindly  to  these  old  men  and 
gave  them  some  beads  and  sent  them  off  to  summon  the 
cacique  of  the  town,  and  they  went  off  and  never  came 
back  again. 

While  we  were  waiting,  a  good-looking  Indian  woman 
appeared  and  b^an  to  speak  in  the  language  of  the 
Island  of  Jamaica,  and  she  told  us  that  all  the  men  and 
women  of  the  town  had  fled  to  the  woods  for  fear  of 
us.  As  I  and  many  of  our  soldiers  knew  the  language 
she  spoke  very  well,  for  it  is  the  same  as  that  spoken 
in  Cuba,  we  were  very  much  astonished,  and  asked  the 
woman  how  she  happened  to  be  there  ;  she  replied  that 
two  years  earlier  she  had  started  from  Jamaica  with  ten 
Indians  in  a  large  canoe  intending  to  go  and  fish  near 
some  small  islands,  and  that  the  currents  had  carried  them 
over  to  this  land  where  they  had  been  driven  ashore, 
and  that  her  husband  and  all  the  Jamaica  Indians  had 
been  killed  and  sacrificed  to  the  Idols.  When  the  Captain 
heard  this  it  seemed  to  him  that  this  woman  would  serve 
very  well  as  a  messenger,  so  he  sent  her  to  summon  the 
people  and  caciques  of  the  town,  and  he  gave  her  two 
days  in  which  to  go  and  return.     We  were  afraid  that  the 

tkONÍ  JAMAÍCA  to  YÚCATAtí.  4I 

Indians  Melchorejo  and  Julianillo  if  once  they  got  away 
from  us  would  go  off  to  their  own  country  which  was 
near  by,  and  on  that  account  we  could  not  trust  them 
as  messengers. 

To  return  to  the  Indian  woman  from  Jamaica,  the 
answer  she  brought  was  that  notwithstanding  her  efforts 
she  could  not  persuade  a  single  Indian  to  approach  us. 

We  called  the  town  Santa  Cruz  because  it  was  the  day 
of  Santa  Cruz  when  we  first  entered  it ;  we  found  there 
very  good  hives  of  honey  and  many  sweet  potatoes,  and 
herds  of  the  pigs  of  the  country  which  have  the  navel* 
above  the  spine. 

There  are  three  townships  on  the  Island,  the  one  where 
we  landed  being  the  largest  and  the  other  two  smaller, 
and  each  one  stood  at  one  end  of  the  island,  these  I  saw 
and  visited  when  I  returned  the  third  time  with  Cortez. 

The  Island  is  about  two  leagues*  in  circumference. 

I  must  go  on  to  say  that  as  the  Captain  Juan  de 
Grijalva  saw  that  it  would  be  merely  losing  time  t©  wait 
there  any  longer,  he  ordered  us  to  go  on  board  ship,  and 
the  Indian  woman  went  with  us,  and  we  continued  our 

^  A  scent  gland. 

*  This  must  be  a  misprint  for  "  twenty  leagues,"  for  the  island  is  at 
least  fifty-five  miles  in  circumference. 

'  From  the  accounts  given  in  the  Itinerario  de  Grijalva  and  in  the 
letter  written  to  Charles  V  by  the  Municipality  of  Vera  Cruz  (loth  July, 
1 5 19)  it  seems  clear  that  on  leaving  Cozumel,  Grijalva  sailed  for  about 
fifty  miles  southwards  along  the  east  coast  of  Yucatan  until  he  reached 
the  Bay  of  Ascension,  which  he  named,  and  then  turned  north  again 
and  rounded  Cape  Catoche.  In  this  passage  the  author  of  the 
Itinerario  says,  '*  Arrived  at  the  coast  we  saw  three  large  towns 
separated  about  two  miles  one  from  the  other,  and  we  saw  in  them 
many  stone  houses  and  very  high  towers,  and  many  houses  of 

Possibly  this  town  was  what  is  now  known  as  the  Ruins  of  Tulum. 



H  ow  we  followed  the  same  course  that  we  had  taken  with  Francisco 
Hernandez  de  Cordova  ;  how  we  landed  at  Chanpoton  and  how 
an  attack  was  made  on  us,  and  what  else  happened. 

As  soon  as  we  were  all  on  board  we  kept  on  the  old  course, 
the  same  that  was  followed  by  Francisco  Hernandez  de 
Cordova,  and  in  eight  days  we  reached  the  neighbourhood 
of  the  town  of  Chanpoton  which  was  the  place  where  the 
Indians  of  that  province  had  defeated  us,  as  I  have  already 
related  in  a  former  chapter.  As  the  tide  runs  out  very 
far  in  the  bay,  we  anchored  our  ships  a  league  from  the 
shore  and  then  making  use  of  all  the  boats  we  disembarked 
half  the  soldiers  close  to  the  houses  of  the  town. 

The  Indians  of  the  town  and  others  from  the  neighbour- 
hood at  once  assembled,  as  they  had  done  on  the  other 
occasion  when  they  killed  over  fifty-six  of  our  soldiers 
and  wounded  all  the  rest,  as  I  have  already  related,  and 
for  that  reason  they  were  now  very  proud  and  haughty, 
and  they  were  well  armed  in  their  own  manner  with 
bows,  arrows,  and  lances,  some  of  them  as  long  as  our 
lances  and  some  of  them  shorter,  and  shields  and  macanas 
and  two-handed  swords  and  slings  and  stones,  and  they 
wore  cotton  armour  and  carried  trumpets  and  drums,  and 
many  of  them  had  their  faces  painted  black  and  others  red 
and  white.  They  were  drawn  up  in  array  and  awaited  us 
on  the  shore,  ready  to  fall  on  us  as  we  landed.  As  we  had 
already  gained  experience  from  our  former  expedition,  we 
had  brought  with  us  in  the  boat  some  falconets  and  were 
well  supplied  with  crossbows  and  guns. 

As  we  approached  the  shore  they  began  to  shoot  arrows 
and  hurl  lances  at  us  with  all  their  might,  and  although  we 
did  them  much  damage  with  our  falconets,  such  a  hail 
storm  of  arrows  fell  on  us  before  we  could  land  that  half  of 
us  were  wounded     As  soon  as  all  the  soldiers  got  on  shore 


we  checked  their  ardour  with  our  good  sword  play  and 
with  our  crossbows,  and  although  they  still  shot  at  us  as 
at  targets,  we  all  wore  cotton  armour,  yet  they  kept  up 
the  fight  against  us  for  a  good  while  until  we  drove  them 
back  into  some  swamps  near  to  the  town.  In  this  fight 
seven  soldiers  were  killed,  among  them  Juan  de  Quiteria, 
a  man  of  importance,  and  our  Captain  Juan  de  Grijalva 
received  three  arrow  wounds,  and  had  two  of  his  teeth 
broken,  and  more  than  sixty  of  us  were  wounded.* 

When  we  saw  that  all  the  enemy  had  taken  to  flight  we 
entered  the  town  and  attended  to  the  wounded  and  buried 
the  dead.  We  could  not  find  a  single  person  in  the  town, 
nor  could  we  find  those  who  had  retreated  into  the  swamp 
for  they  had  all  disappeared.  In  that  skirmish  we  captured 
three  Indians  one  of  whom  was  a  chief,  and  the  Captain 
sent  them  off  to  summon  the  cacique  of  the  town,  giving 
them  clearly  to  understand  through  the  interpreters 
Julianillo  and  Melchorejo  that  they  were  pardoned  for 
what  they  had  done,  and  he  gave  them  some  green  beads 
to  hand  to  the  cacique  as  a  sign  of  peace,  and  they  went 
off  and  never  returned  again.  So  we  believed  that  the 
Indians,  Julianillo  and  Melchorejo  had  not  repeated  to 
the  prisoners  what  they  had  been  told  to  say  to  them  but 
had  said  something  quite  different. 

At  that  town  we  stayed  for  three  days. 

I  remember  that  this  fight  took  place  in  some  fields 
where  there  were  many  locusts,  and  while  we  were  fighting 
they  jumped  up  and  came  flying  in  our  faces,  and  as  the 
Indian  archers  were  pouring  a  hail  storm  of  arrows  on  us 
we  sometimes  mistook  the  arrows  for  locusts  and  did  not 
shield  ourselves  from  them  and  so  got  wounded  ;  at  other 
times  we  thought  that  they  were  arrows  coming  towards 

^  The  author  of  the  IHnerario  and  the  Letter  from  the  Municipality 
of  Vera  Cruz  to  Charles  V  make  this  fight  uke  place  at  Campeche 
and  say  one  Spaniard  was  killed. 

44  VOVaGÉ  CONtl^UfeÖ. 

us,  when  they  were  only  flying  locusts  and  it  greatly 
hampered  our  fighting.  I  must  leave  this  and  go  on  to 
tell  how  we  embarked  and  kept  on  our  course. 


How  we  went  on  our  way  and  entered  a  large  and  broad  river  to 
which  we  then  gave  the  name  of  the  Boca  de  Términos. 

Keeping  on  our  course  we  reached  what  seemed  to  be 
the  mouth  of  a  very  rapid  river,  very  broad  and  open, 
but  it  was  not  a  river  as  we  at  first  thought  it  to  be,  but 
it  was  a  very  good  harbour. 

Because  there  was  land  on  both  sides  of  us  and  the 
water  was  so  wide  that  it  looked  like  a  strait,  the  pilot 
Alaminos  said  that  here  the  Island  ended  and  the  main- 
land began,  and  that  was  the  reason  why  we  called  it  the 
Boca  de  Términos,^  and  so  it  is  named  on  the  charts. 

The  Captain  Juan  de  Grijalva  went  ashore  with  all  the 
other  Captains  already  mentioned  and  many  soldiers.  We 
spent  three  days  taking  soundings  at  the  mouth  of  the 
strait  and  exploring  up  and  down  the  bay  until  we  came 
to  the  end  of  it,  and  found  out  that  there  was  no  island, 
but  that  we  were  in  a  bay  which  formed  a  very  good 
harbour.  On  shore  we  found  some  houses  built  of 
masonry,  used  as  oratories  of  their  Idols,  and  many 
Idols  of  pottery,  wood  and  stone,  which  were  the  images 
of  their  gods,  and  some  of  them  were  figures  of  women 

*  It  is  not  quite  clear  by  which  opening  the  vessels  entered  the 
Laguna  de  Terminos.  Orozco  y  Berra  {Hist  Antigua^  vol.  iv,  page 
31)  says  at  the  Puerto  Escondido— it  seems  more  likely  to  have  been 
at  the  Puerto  Real.  Had  they  entered  by  the  west  entrance  or  Puerto 
Principal  they  must  have  attracted  the  attention  of  the  people  of 
Xicolango,  then  a  considerable  town  and  a  Mexican  outpost  (See 
Relacion  de  Melchor  de  Alfaro  Santa  Crux  in  Colecdon  de  Documentos 
Ineditos^  Reladones  de  Yucatan^  vol.  ii.     Madrid,  1898). 


and  others  figures  of  serpents  and  there  were  many 
deer's  antlers. 

We  thought  there  must  be  a  town  close  by,  and  as 
it  was  such  a  safe  port  we  considered  that  it  would  be 
a  good  place  for  a  settlement,  but  we  found  out  that  it 
was  altogether  uninhabited,  and  that  the  oratories  were 
merely  those  belonging  to  traders  and  hunters  who  put 
into  the  port  when  passing  in  their  canoes  and  made 
sacrifices  there.  We  had  much  deer  and  rabbit  hunting 
and  with  the  help  of  a  lurcher  we  killed  ten  deer  and 
many  rabbits.  At  last  when  we  had  finished  our 
soundings  and  explorations  we  made  ready  to  go  on 
board  ship,  but  the  lurcher  got  left  behind.  The  sailors 
call  this  place  the  Puerto  de  Términos. 

As  soon  as  we  were  all  on  board  we  kept  our  course 
close  along  the  shore  until  we  arrived  at  a  river  which 
they  call  the  Rio  de  Tabasco,  which  we  named  Rio  de 


How  we  arrived  at  the  Rio  de  Tabasco  which  we  named  the 
River  Grijalva,  and  what  happened  to  us  there. 

Making  our  way  along  the  coast  towards  the  west,  by 
day,  but  not  daring  to  sail  during  the  night  for  fear  of 
shoals  and  reefs,  at  the  end  of  three  days  we  came  in 
sight  of  the  mouth  of  a  very  broad  river,  and  we  went 
near  in  shore  with  the  ships,  as  it  looked  like  a  good  port. 
As  we  came  nearer  in  we  saw  the  water  breaking  over 
the  bar  at  the  mouth  of  the  river,  so  we  got  out  boats, 
and  by  sounding  we  found  out  that  the  two  larger  vessels 
could  not  enter  the  river,  so  it  was  agreed  that  they  should 
anchor  outside  in  the  sea,  and  that  all  the  soldiers  should 
go  up  the  river  in  the  other  two  vessels  which  drew  less 
water  and  in  the  boats. 


This  we  did  because  we  saw  many  Indians  in  canoes 
along  the  banks  of  the  river  armed  with  bows  and  arrows 
and  other  weapons,  after  the  manner  of  the  people  of 
Chanpoton,  and  we  knew  that  there  must  be  a  large 
town  in  the  neighbourhood. 

As  we  had  coasted  along  we  had  already  seen  nets 
set  in  the  sea  for  catching  iish,  and  had  gone  in  the  boat 
which  was  towed  astern  of  the  flagship  and  had  taken  fish 
out  of  two  of  them. 

This  river  was  called  the  Rio  de  Tabasco  because  the 
chief  of  the  town  called  himself  Tabasco,  and  as  we 
discovered  it  on  this  voyage  and  Juan  de  Grijalva  was 
its  discoverer,  we  named  it  the  Rio  de  Grijalva  and  so 
it  is  marked  on  the  charts. 

To  go  back  to  my  story,  when  we  arrived  within  half  a 
league  of  the  town  we  could  hear  the  sound  of  chopping 
wood  for  the  Indians  were  making  barriers  and  stockades 
and  getting  ready  to  give  us  battle.  When  we  were 
aware  of  this,  so  as  to  make  certain,  we  disembarked 
half  a  league  from  the  town  on  a  point  of  land  where 
some  palm  trees  were  growing.  When  the  Indians  saw 
us  there  a  fleet  of  fifty  canoes  approached  us  full  of 
warriors  clad  in  cotton  armour  and  carrying  bows  and 
arrows,  lances  and  shields,  drums  and  plumes  of  feathers. 
Many  other  canoes  full  of  warriors  were  lying  in  the 
creeks,  and  they  kept  a  little  way  off  as  though  they 
did  not  dare  to  approach  as  did  the  first  fleet.  When 
we  perceived  their  intentions  we  were  on  the  point  of 
firing  at  them  with  guns  and  crossbows,  but  it  pleased 
God  that  we  agreed  to  call  out  to  them,  and  through 
Julianillo  and  Melchorejo,  who  spoke  their  language  very 
well,  we  told  them  that  they  need  have  no  fear,  that  we 
wished  to  talk  to  them,  for  we  had  things  to  tell  them 
which  when  they  understood  them  they  would  be  glad 
that  we  bad   cpme  to   their  country  and   their  homes, 


Moreover,  we  wished  to  give  them  some  of  the  things 
we  had  brought  with  us.  As  they  understood  what  was 
said  to  them,  four  of  the  canoes  came  near  with  about 
thirty  Indians  in  them,  and  we  showed  them  strings  of 
green  beads  and  small  mirrors  and  blue  cut  glass  beads,^ 
and  as  soon  as  they  saw  them  they  assumed  a  more 
friendly  manner,  for  they  thought  that  they  were  chal- 
chihuite^  which  they  value  greatly. 

Then  through  Julianillo  and  Melchorejo  as  interpreters, 
the  Captain  told  them  that  we  came  from  a  distant 
country  and  were  the  vassals  of  a  great  Emperor  named 
Don  Carlos,  who  had  many  great  lords  and  chiefs  as  his 
vassals,  and  that  they  ought  to  acknowledge  him  as  their 
lord,  and  it  would  be  to  their  advantage  to  do  so,  and  that 
in  return  for  the  beads  they  might  bring  us  some  food  and 

Two  of  the  Indians  answered  us,  one  of  them  was  a 
chief  and  the  other  was  a  Papa,  that  is,  a  sort  of  priest 
who  has  care  of  their  Idols,  for  as  I  have  said  before,  in 
New  Spain  they  are  called  Papas.  They  replied  that  they 
would  bring  the  food  which  we  asked  for,  and  would 
barter  their  things  for  ours ;  but  as  for  the  rest,  they 
already  had  a  chief,  that  we  were  only  just  now  arrived 
and  knew  nothing  about  them,  and  yet  we  wanted  to  give 
them  a  chief.  Let  us  beware  not  to  make  war  on  them 
as  we  had  done  at  Potonchan,*  for  they  had  more  than 
three  jiquipiUs  of  warriors  from  all  the  provinces  around 
in  readiness  {ewtry  jiqMtptl  numbers  eight  thousand  men) 
and  they  said  that  they  were  well  aware  that  only  a  few 
days  earlier  we  had  killed  and  wounded  more  than  two 
hundred    men    at    Potonchan*   but    that    they  were    not 

^  Literally,  blue  diamonds. 

'  Chalchihuitli  is  Jadeite,  which  was  treasured  as  a  precious  stone 
by  the  Indians. 
*  Chanpoton. 


weaklings  such  as  those,  and  for  this  reason  they  had 
come  to  talk  to  us  and  find  out  what  we  wanted,  and  that 
whatever  we  should  tell  them  they  would  go  and  report 
to  the  chiefs  of  many  towns  who  had  assembled  to  decide 
on  peace  or  war. 

Then  our  Captain  embraced  the  Indians  as  a  sign  of 
peace,  and  gave  them  some  strings  of  beads  and  told 
them  to  go  and  bring  back  an  answer  as  soon  as  possible, 
but  he  said  that  although  we  did  not  wish  to  anger  them, 
that  if  they  did  not  return  we  should  have  to  force  our 
way  into  their  town. 

These  messengers  whom  we  sent  spoke  to  the  Caciques 
and  Papas,  who  also  have  a  voice  in  their  affairs,  and  they 
decided  that  it  was  better  to  keep  the  peace  and  supply  us 
with  food,  and  that  between  them  and  the  neighbouring 
towns  they  would  soon  seek  a  present  of  gold  to  give  us 
and  secure  our  friendship,  so  that  what  had  happened  to 
the  people  of  Potonchan^  would  not  happen  to  them. 

From  what  I  saw  and  learnt  afterwards,  it  is  the  custom 
in  these  provinces,  and  in  other  countries  in  New  Spain  to 
give  presents  when  making  peace,  and  this  will  be  clearly 
seen  later  on. 

The  following  day  more  than  thirty  Indians  with  their 
chief  came  to  the  promontory  under  the  palm  trees  where 
we  were  camped  and  brought  roasted  fish  and  fowls, 
and  zapote  fruit  and  maize  bread,  and  brasiers  with  live 
coals  and  incense,  and  they  fumigated  us  all.  Then  they 
spread  on  the  ground  some  mats,  which  here  they  call 
petateSy  and  over  them  a  cloth,  and  they  presented  some 
golden  jewels,  some  were  diadems,  and  others  were  in  the 
shape  of  ducks,  like  those  in  Castille,  and  other  jewels  like 
lizards  and  three  necklaces  of  hollow  beads,  and  other 
articles  of  gold  but  not  of  much  value,  for  they  were  not 

^  Chanpoton, 


worth  more  than  two  hundred  dollars.  They  also  brought 
some  cloaks  and  skirts,  such  as  they  wear,  and  said  that 
we  must  accept  these  things  in  good  part  as  they  had  no 
more  gold  to  give  us,  but  that  further  on,  in  the  direction 
of  the  sunset,  there  was  plenty  of  gold,  and  they  said 
"  Colua,  Colua,  Méjico,  Méjico,"  but  we  did  not  know 
what  this  Colua  or  Méjico  could  be.  Although  the  present 
that  they  brought  us  was  not  worth  much,  we  were  satisfied, 
because  we  thus  knew  for  certain  that  they  possessed  gold. 
As  soon  as  they  had  given  their  present  they  said  that  we 
should  at  once  set  out  on  our  way  and  the  Captain,  Juan 
de  Grijalva,  thanked  them  for  their  gift  and  gave  them  a 
present  of  beads.  It  was  decided  that  we  should  go  on 
board  at  once,  for  the  two  ships  were  in  much  danger 
should  a  northerly  gale  blow  for  it  would  put  them  on 
a  lee  shore,  and  moreover  we  wanted  to  get  nearer  to 
where  we  were  told  there  was  gold. 


How  we  followed  along  the  coast  towards  the  setting  sun,  and 
arrived  at  a  river  called  the  Rio  de  Banderas,  and  what 
happened  there. 

We  returned  on  board  and  set  our  course  along  the 
coast  and  in  two  days  came  in  sight  of  a  town  called 
Ayagualulco,  and  many  of  the  Indians  from  that  town 
marched  along  the  shore  with  shields  made  of  the  shells  of 
turtle,  which  sparkled  as  the  sun  shone  on  them,  and  some 
of  our  soldiers  contended  that  they  were  made  of  low 
grade  gold. 

The  Indians  who  carried  them  as  they  marched  along 
the  sandy  beach,  knowing  that  they  were  at  a  safe  distance, 




cut  capers,  as  though  mocking  at  the  ships.  We  gave  the 
town  the  name  of  La  Rambla,  and  it  is  thus  marked  on 
the  charts. 

Coasting  along  we  came  in  sight  of  a  bay  into  which 
flows  the  river  Tonalá,  which  we  entered  on  our  return 
journey  and  named  the  Rio  de  San  Antonio,  and  so  it  is 
marked  on  the  charts. 

As  we  sailed  along  we  noted  the  position  of  the  great 
river  Coatzacoalcos,  and  we  wished  to  enter  the  bay  [not 
merely]  to  see  what  it  was  like,  but  because  the  weather 
was  unfavourable.  Soon  we  came  in  sight  of  the  great 
snow  mountains,  which  have  snow  on  them  all  the  year 
round,  and  we  saw  other  mountains,  nearer  to  the  sea, 
which  we  called  the  range  of  San  Martin,  and  we  gave 
it  that  name  because  the  first  man  to  see  them  was  a 
soldier  from  Havana  who  had  come  with  us  named  San 

As  we  followed  along  the  coast,  the  Captain  Pedro  de 
Alvarado,  went  ahead  with  his  ship  and  entered  a  river 
which  the  Indians  call  Papaloapan,  and  which  we  then 
called  the  Rio  de  Alvarado  because  Alvarado  was  the  first 
to  enter  it.  There,  some  Indian  fishermen,  natives  of  a  town 
called  Tlacotalpa  gave  him  some  fish.  We  waited  at  the 
mouth  of  the  river  with  the  other  three  ships  until 
Alvarado  came  out,  and  the  General  was  very  angry 
with  him  for  going  up  the  river  without  his  permission, 
and  ordered  him  never  to  go  ahead  of  the  other  ships 
again,  lest  an  accident  should  happen  when  we  could  not 
give  him  help. 

We  kept  on  our  course,  all  four  ships  together  until  we 
arrived  at  the  mouth  of  another  river,  which  we  called  the 
Rio  de  Banderas,^  because  we  there  came  on  a  great 
number   of  Indians    with    long    lances,    and    on    every 

^  Rio  de  Banderas  is  the  Rio  Jamapa  of  the  modem  maps. 


lance  a  great  cloth  banner  which  they  waved  as  they 
beckoned  to  us.  And  what  happened  I  will  tell  in  the 
next  chapter. 


How  we  arrived  at  the  Rio  de  Banderas  and  what 
happened  there. 

Some  studious  readers  in  Spain  and  other  people  who 
have  been  to  New  Spain,  may  have  heard  that  Mexico 
was  a  very  great  city  built  in  the  water  like  Venice,  and 
that  it  was  governed  by  a  great  prince  who  was  King 
over  many  provinces  and  ruled  over  all  the  lands  of  New 
Spain,  a  territory  which  is  more  than  twice  as  large  as 
Castille,  and  that  this  Prince  was  called  Montezuma,  and 
that  as  he  was  so  powerful  he  wished  to  extend  his  rule 
beyond  what  was  possible.  He  had  received  news  of  our 
arrival  when  we  came  first,  with  Francisco  Hernandez  de 
Cordova,  and  of  what  had  happened  at  the  battle  of 
Catoche  and  at  Chanpoton,  and  also  what  had  happened 
at  the  battle  at  this  same  Chanpoton  during  this  voyage, 
and  he  knew  that  we  soldiers  being  few  in  number  had 
defeated  the  warriors  of  that  town  and  their  very 
numerous  allies,  and  he  knew  as  well  that  we  had 
entered  the  Rio  Tabasco  and  what  had  taken  place 
between  us  and  the  caciques  of  that  town,  moreover  he 
understood  that  our  object  was  to  seek  for  gold,  in 
exchange  for  the  tHííTgs  we  te'd'^  brought  with  us.  All 
this  news  had  been  brought  to  him  painted  on  a  cloth 
made  of  hennequen^  which  is  like  linen,  and  as  he  knew  ) 
that  we  were  coasting  along  towards  his  provinces  he  sent  j 
orders  to  his  governors  that  if  we  should  arrive  in  their 

^  Hennequen,  or  Sisal  hemp,  is  a  species  of  Aloe  (Agave  Ixtli)  now 
largely  used  for  cordage. 

E  2 


-y   J. 



1^       J   neighbourhood  with   our   ships   that  they  should   barter 

I   gold  for  our  beads,  especially  the  green  beads,  which  are 
something  like  their  chalchihuites,  which   they  value   as 
.    highly  as  emeralds ;   he  also  ordered  them   to  find  out 
more  about  our  persons  and  our  plans. 

It  is  a  fact,  as  we  now  know,  that  their  Indian  ancestors 
had  foretold  that  men  with  beards  would  come  from  the 
direction  of  the  sunrise  and  would  rule  over  them.  What- 
j  ever  the  reason  may  have  been  many  Indians  sent  by  the 
I  Great  Montezuma  were  watching  for  us  at  the  river  1  have 
I  mentioned  with  long  poles,  and  on  every  pole  a  banner  of 
Iwhite  cotton  cloth,  which  they  waved  and  called  to  us,  as 
Ithough  making  signals  of  peace,  to  come  to  them. 

When  from  the  ships  we  saw  such  an  unusual  sight  we 
were  fairly  astonished,  and  the  general  and  most  of  the 
Captains  were  agreed  that  to  find  out  what  it  meant  we 
should  lower  two  of  the  boats,  and  that  all  those  who 
carried  guns  or  crossbows  and  twenty  of  the  most  daring 
and  active  soldiers  should  go  in  them,  and  that  Francisco 
de  Montejo  should  accompany  us,  and  that  if  we  should 
discover  that  the  men  who  were  waving  the  banners  were 
warriors  that  we  should  at  once  bring  news  of  it  and  of 
anything  else  that  we  could  find  out. 

Thank  God  at  that  time  we  had  fine  weather  which  is 
rare  enough  on  this  coast.  When  we  got  on  shore  we 
found  three  Caciques,  one  of  them  the  governor  appointed 
by  Montezuma,  who  had  many  of  the  Indians  of  his  house- 
hold with  him.  They  brought  many  of  the  fowls  of  the 
country  and  maize  bread  such  as  they  always  eat,  and 
fruits  such  as  pineapples  and  zapotes,  which  in  other 
parts  are  called  mameies,  and  they  were  seated  under  the 
shade  of  the  trees,  and  had  spread  mats  on  the  ground, 
and  they  invited  us  to  be  seated,  all  by  signs,  for 
Julianillo  the  man  from  Cape  Catoche,  did  not  under- 
stand  their    language   which    is   Mexican.      Then    they 

Bartering  for  jewels  of  gold.  53 

brought  pottery  braziers  with  live  coals,  and  fumigated 
us  with  a  sort  of  resin. 

As  soon  as  the  Captain  Montejo  had  reported  all  that 
had  taken  place  to  the  general,  he  [the  captain  general] 
determined  to  anchor  his  ships  and  go  ashore  with  all  his 
captains  and  soldiers.  When  the  Caciques  and  governors 
saw  him  on  land  and  knew  that  he  was  the  Captain 
General  of  us  all,  according  to  their  custom,  they  paid 
him  the  greatest  respect.  In  return  he  treated  them  in  a 
most  caressing  manner  and  ordered  them  to  be  given  blue 
and  green  glass  beads  aqd  by  signs  he  made  them  under- 
stand that  they  should  bring  gold  to  barter  with  us. 
Then  the  Governor  sent  orders  to  all  the  neighbouring 
towns  to  bring  jewels  to  exchange  with  us,  and  during 
the  six  days  that  we  remained  there  they  brought  more 
than  sixteen  thousand  dollars  worth  of  jewelry  of  low 
grade  gold,  worked  into  various  forms. 

This  must  be  the  gold  which  the  historians  Gómara, 
Yllescas  and  Jovio  say  was  given  by  the  natives  of 
Tabasco,  and  they  have  written  it  down  as  though  it 
were  true,  although  it  is  well  known  to  eye  witnesses 
that  there  is  no  gold  in  the  Province  of  the  Rio  de 
Grijalva  or  anywhere  near  it  and  very  few  jewels. 

When  the  General  saw  that  the  Indians  were  not 
bringing  any  more  gold  to  barter,  and  as  we  had  already 
been  there  six  days  and  the  ships  ran  risk  of  danger  from 
the  North  and  North  East  wind,  he  thought  it  was  time  to 

So  we  took  [formal]  possession  of  the  land  in  the  name 
of  His  Majesty,  and  as  soon  as  this  had  been  done  the 
General  spoke  to  the  Indians  and  told  them  that  we 
wished  to  return  to  our  ships  and  he  gave  them  presents 
of  some  shirts  from  Spain.  We  took  one  of  the  Indians 
from  this  place  on  board  ship  with  us,  and  after  he  had 
learnt  our  language  he  became  a  Christian  and  was  named 


Francisco,  and  later  on  I  met  him  living  with  his  Indian 

As  we  sailed  on  along  the  coast  we  sighted  an  Island^ 
of  white  sand  which  the  sea  washed  over,  it  appeared  to  be 
.about  three  leagues  distant  from  the  land,  and  we  called  it 
the  Isla  Blanca  and  it  is  marked  thus  on  the  charts.  Not 
far  from  the  Isla  Blanca  we  observed  another  Island  with 
many  green  trees  on  it,  lying  about  four  leagues  from  the 
coast  and  we  gave  it  the  name  of  Isla  Verde  and  going  on 
further  we  saw  an  Island  somewhat  larger  than  the  others 
about  a  league  and  a  half  off  the  shore,  and  in  front  of  it 
there  was  a  good  roadstead  where  the  General  gave  orders 
for  the  ships  to  come  to  anchor. 

'   As  soon  as  the  boats  were  launched  the  Captain  Juan 

de  Grijalva  and  many  of  us  soldiers  went  off  to  visit  the 

Island  for  we  saw  smoke  rising  from  it,  and  we  found  two 

inasonry  houses  very  well   built,  each  house  with  steps 

■    leading  up  to  some  altars,  and  on  these  altars  were  idols 

."    ivith   evil  looking  bodies,  which   were  the  gods  of  the 

:    /Indians  and  that  very  night  five  Indians  had  been  sacri- 

/ficed  before  them  ;   their  chests  had  been  cut  open,  and 

I  the  arms  and  thighs  had  been  cut  off  and  the  walls  were 

I  covered  with  blood. 

At  all  this  we  stood  greatly  .amazed,  and  gave  the 
Island  the  name  of  the  Isla  de  Sacriiicios  and  it  is  so 
marked  on  the  charts. 

We  all  of  us  went  ashore  opposite  that  Island,  and  on 
the  broad  sandy  beach  we  put  up  huts  and  shelters  made 
with  branches  of  trees  and  sails  taken  from  the  ships. 

Now  many  Indians  had  come  down  to  the  coast  bringing 
gold  made  into  small  articles  which  they  wished  to  barter 
as  they  had  done  at  the  Rio  de  Banderas,  and,  as  we 

1  Bemal  Diaz  is  not  quite  correct  about  the  comparative  size  of  the 
Islands.    The.  accompanying  chart  shows  their  size  and  position. 

SAN  JUAN   DE  ULUA.  55 

afterwards  found  out  the  great  Montezuma  had  ordered 
them  to  do  so.  These  Indians  who  brought  the  gold 
were  very  timid  and  the  gold  was  small  in  quantity,  for 
this  reason  the  Captain  Juan  de,  Grijalva  ordered  the 
anchors  to  be  raised  and  sail  set,  and  we  went  on  to 
anchor  opposite  another  Island,  about  half  a  league  from 
land,  and  it  is  at  this  Island  that  the  port  of  Vera  Cruz  is 
now  established. 


How  we  arrived  at  the  Island  now  called  San  Juan  de  Ulúa,  and 
the  reason  why  that  name  was  given  to  it,  and  what  happened  to 
us  there. 

We  landed  on  a  sandy  beach,  and  so  as  to  escape  the 
swarms  of  mosquitos  we  built  huts  on  the  tops  of  the 
highest  sand  dunes,  which  are  very  extensive  in  these 

From  our  boats  we  made  careful  soundings  of  the 
harbour  and  found  that  there  was  a  good  bottom  and 
that  under  the  shelter  of  the  Island  our  ships  would  be 
safe  from  the  Northerly  gales. 

As  soon  as  this  was  done  the  General  and  thirty  of  us 
soldiers,  well  armed,  went  in  two  boats  to  the  Island  and 
we  found  there  a  temple  where  there  was  a  very  large 
and  ugly  idol  which  was  called  Tescatepuca^  and  in 
charge  of  it  were  four  Indians  with  very  large  black 
cloaks  and  hoods,  such  as  the  Dominicans  or  canons 
wear,  or  very  much  like  them,  and  these  were  the  priests 
of  the  idols,  and  they  are  commonly  called  Papas  in  New 
Spain,  as  I  have  said  before. 

They  had  this  day  sacrificed  two  boys  and  cut  open 

^  TeUcatlipoca. 


their  chests,  and  offered  the  blood  and  hearts  to  that 
cursed  Idol.  The  priests  came  towards  us  to  fumigate 
us  with  the  incense  with  which  they  had  fumigated  their 
Tescatepuca,  for  when  we  approached  them  they  were 
burning  something  which  had  the  scent  of  incense,  but 
we  would  not  allow  them  to  fumigate  us,  for  we  all  felt 
much  pity  at  seeing  those  two  boys  who  had  just  been 
killed  and  at  beholding  such  great  cruelty.  The  General 
asked  the  Indian  Francisco,  already  mentioned  by  me, 
whom  we  had  brought  from  the  Rio  de  Banderas,  and 
who  seemed  to  be  fairly  intelligent  what  they  had  done 
this  for,  and  Francisco  by  means  of  signs  (we  had  no  inter- 
preter, for  as  I  have  already  said,  Julianillo  and  Melchorejo 
did  not  understand  the  Mexican  language)  replied  that  the 
people  of  Culua  had  ordered  the  sacrifice  to  be  made.  As 
he  was  halting  in  his  speech  he  said  Uliia,  Ulua,  and  as 
our  Captain  who  was  present  was  named  Juan,  and  it  was 
the  day  of  San  Juan  in  June,  we  called  the  Island  San  . 
Juan  de  Ulua.  This  port  is  now  very  well  known,  and 
great  shelter  walls  have  been  erected  so  as  to  protect  the 
ships  from  the  North  wind,  and  it  is  here  that  all  the 
merchandise  from  Castille  for  Mexico  and  New  Spain  is 

To  go  back  to  my  story,  while  we  were  encamped  on 
the  sand  hills,  Indians  from  the  towns  round  about  came 
to  barter  gold  and  jewels  in  exchange  for  our  goods,  but 
they  brought  so  few  things  and  those  of  such  poor  value 
that  we  took  no  count  of  it. 

We  stayed  there  for  seven  days,  but  we  could  not 
endure  the  mosquitos,  and  seeing  that  we  were  wasting 
time,  and  as  we  now  knew  for  certain  that  these  lands  were 
not  Islands  but  the  Mainland,  and  that  it  contained  large 
towns  and  multitudes  of  Indians,  and  seeing  that  our 
cassava  bread  was  very  mouldy  and  dirty  with  weevils 
and  was  going  sour,  and  that  the  soldiers  of  our  company 


were  not  numerous  enough  to  form  a  settlement,  all  the 
more  so  as  thirteen  soldiers  had  died  of  their  wounds,  and 
four  others  were  still  suffering,  so  taking  all  I  have  said 
into  consideration  it  was  agreed  that  we  should  send  to 
inform  the  Governor  Diego  Velasquez  of  our  condition,  so 
that  he  could  send  us  help. 

Juan  de  Grijalva  had  the  greatest  desire  to  form  a  settle- 
ment even  with  the  few  soldiers  he  had  with  him,  and 
always  showed  the  courage  of  a  very  valiant  and  energetic 
Captain,  and  was  not  such  a  man  as  the  historian  Gómara 

It  was  therefore  decided  that  the  Captain  Pedro  de 
Alvarado  should  go  in  a  very  good  ship  called  the  San 
Sebastian  to  carry  the  message.  This  was  agreed  to  for 
two  reasons,  one  was  that  Juan  de  Grijalva  and  the  other 
captains  were  not  on  good  terms  with  Alvarado  on  account 
of  his  entry  into  the  Rio  Papaloapan  (which  we  then  named 
the  Rio  Alvarado)  the  other  reason  was  that  Alvarado 
had  come  on  this  voyage  unwillingly,  as  he  was  far  from 

It  was  also  arranged  that  the  sick  men  and  all  the  gold 
and  the  cloth  which  had  been  gained  by  barter  should  be 
sent  back  in  the  San  Sebastian,  The  Captains  wrote  to 
Diego  Velasquez,  each  one  what  he  thought  fit,  and  then 
the  ship  set  sail  and  made  for  the  Island  of  Cuba,  and 
there  I  will  leave  them  for  the  present,  both  Pedro  de 
Alvarado  and  his  voyage,  and  will  tell  how  Diego 
Velasquez  had  sent  in  search  of  us. 



How  Diego  Velasquez,  the  Governor  of  Cuba,  sent  a  ship  in  search 
of  us,  and  what  else  happened. 

No  soorrer  had  we  sailed  from  the  Island  of  Cuba  on 
our  voyage  with  Captain  Juan  de  Grijalva,  than  Diego 
Velasquez  began  to  be  anxious  lest  some  calamity  had 
befallen  us,  and  he  was  always  longing  for  news  of  us,  so 
he  sent  a  small  ship  with  some  soldiers  in  search  of  us, 
under  the  command  of  Cristóval  de  Olid,  a  person  of 
consideration  and  very  energetic  (who  was  afterwards 
Maestro  de  Campó^  in  the  expedition  under  Cortes). 
Diego  Velasquez  ordered  him  to  follow  the  track 
of  Francisco  Hernandez  de  Cordova  until  he  should 
overtake  us. 

It  appears  that  Cristóval  de  Olid,  when  he  went  in 
search  of  us,  was  struck  by  a  heavy  gale  while  anchored 
near  the  coast  of  Yucatan,  and  the  pilot  whom  they  had 
on  board,  so  as  to  save  the  vessel  from*  foundering  at 
anchor,  ordered  the  cables  to  be  cut,  so  they  lost  their 
anchors  and  returned  to  Santiago  de  Cuba. 

Diego  Velasquez  was  at  the  port  and  heard  that  they 
brought  no  news  of  us,  and  if  he  was  anxious  before,  he 
was  doubly  so  now.  However,  about  this  time  the  Captain, 
Pedro  de  Alvarado,  arrived  with  the  gold,  and  the  cloth, 
and  the  sick  men,  and  with  the  whole  story  of  what  we 
had  discovered ;  and  when  the  Governor  beheld  the  gold 
jewelry  that  the  Captain  Pedro  de  Alvarado  had  brought 
with  him,  he  greatly  overestimated  its  value. 

There  were  present  with  Diego  Velasquez  many  in- 
habitants from  the  city  and  from  other  parts  of  the 
Island,  who  had  come  on  business,  and  when  the  king's 

^  Quartermaster. 

Series  II.    Vol.  XXIIl. 

i^M^  OttJúJ^OftKttíTfnU  f*^m 

>  His  TO  RiA  Gene 

iittcMin  Dvfitf4iMnjtef  t!  zttrftkoyf 


<jy  <^tittnmecv^ 













Facsimile  (reduced)  of  TiiU-þage  of 

Showing  portraits  of  CORTES,  CRISTOVAL  DE  OLID,  GONZALO  DE  SANDOVAL, 
the  capture  of  GUATEMOC,  etc. 

Reproduced  and  printed  for  the  Hakluyt  Society  by  Donald  Macbeth,  1908. 
Plate  4.  .To  face  pane  58- 


officers  took  the  Royal  Fifth,  which  belongs  to  His 
Majesty,  they  were  astonished  at  our  having  discovered 
such  rich  lands,  (for  Peru  was  not  discovered  until  twenty 
years  later). 

Pedro  de  Alvarado  knew  very  well  how  to  tell  his  story, 
and  they  say  that  Diego  Velasquez  could  do  nothing  but 
embrace  him,  and  order  great  rejoicings  and  sports  for 
eight  days.  Report  had  been  rife  enough  before  about 
these  rich  lands,  and  with  the  arrival  of  the  gold  it  rose 
to  exaggeration  throughout  the  Islands  and  in  Castille, 
as  I  shall  tell  later  on ;  but  I  must  leave  Diego  Velasquez 
keeping  holiday,  and  return  to  our  ships  which  were  at 
San  Juan  de  Ulúa,  and  I  shall  go  on  to  relate  how  we 
agreed  to  proceed  with  our  exploration  of  the  coast. 


How  we  went  on  exploring  the  coast  as  far  as  the  Province 
of  Panuco,  and  what  else  happened  before  our  return  to 

After  the  Captain,  Pedro  de  Alvarado  had  left  us  to 
go  to  the  Island  of  Cuba,  (as  I  have  already  related)  it 
was  decided  by  the  General,  Captains,  and  soldiers,  and 
approved  of  by  the  Pilots,  that  we  should  keep  in  close 
to  the  shore  and  discover  all  that  we  were  able  on  the 
coast.  Keeping  on  our  course  we  came  in  sight  of  the 
3ierra  de  Tuztla,^  and  further  on,  two  days  later,  we  saw 
some  other  higher  ranges  which  are  now  called  the  Sierra 
de  Tuzpa,  after  a  town  of  that  name  near  by.  As  we 
coasted  along,  we   saw   many  towns  apparently  two  or 

*  This  is  an  error  ;  the  Sierra  de  Tuxtla  lies  between  the  Sierra  San 
Martin  and  the  mouth  of  the  Papaloapan  River,  and  had  been  passed 
before  arriving  at  San  Juan  de  Ulúa.  It  is  Tuxpan  (about  lat 
20  deg.  N  }  that  was  now  sighted. 

6o  THE  RIO  t)E  CANOAS-  « 

three  leagues  inland  and  these  would  belong  to  the 
province  of  Panuco.  Continuing  our  course,  we  came 
to  a  great  and  rapid  river  which  we  called  the  Rio  de 
Canoas^  and  dropped  anchor  at  the  mouth  of  it. 

When  all  three  ships  were  anchored  and  we  were  a 
little  off  our  guard,  twenty  large  canoes  filled  with  Indian 
warriors,  armed  with  bows,  arrows,  and  lances,  came  down 
the  river  and  made  straight  for  the  smallest  ship  which  lay 
nearest  the  shore,  and  was  commanded  by  Francisco  de 
Montejo.  The  Indians  shot  a  flight  of  arrows  which 
wounded  five  soldiers,  and  they  made  fast  to  the  ship 
with  ropes  intending  to  carry  her  off,  and  even  cut  one 
of  her  cables  with  their  copper  axes.  However,  the 
captain  and  soldiers  fought  well,  and  upset  three  of  the 
canoes,  and  we  hastened  to  their  assistance  in  our  boats, 
with  guns  and  crossbows,  and  we  wounded  more  than  a 
third  of  the  Indians,  so  they  returned  from  their  unlucky 
expedition  whence  they  had  come.  Then  we  got  up 
anchor  and  set  sail  and  followed  along  the  coast  until 
we  came  to  a  great  Cape*  which  was  most  difficult  to 
double,  for  the  currents  were  so  strong  we  could  make  no 

Then  the  Pilot,  Alaminos,  said  to  the  General,  that  it 
was  no  use  trying  to  go  further  in  that  direction,  and  gave 
many  reasons  for  his  opinion.  So  counsel  was  taken  as  to 
what  had  best  be  done,  and  it  was  settled  that  we  should 
return  to  Cuba.  One  reason  for  this  was  that  the  rains* 
had  already  begun,  and  we  were  short  of  provisions,  and 
one  ship  was  leaking  badly.  However,  the  Captains  were 
not  of  one  mind,  for  Juan  de  Grijalva  said  that  he  wanted 

^  Orozco  y  Berra  says,  in  a  note  (page  55),  that  this  Rio  de  Canoas 
is  the  Rio  Tanhuijo,  21  deg.  15  mins.  48  sees.  N.  lat. 

*  Punta  Majahua  or  Cabo  Rojo. 

5  Inviemo  (winter)  is  the  word  in  the  text ;  it  must  here  mean  the 
rainy  season. 


to  form  a  settlement,  and  Alonzo  de  Ávila,  and  Francisco 
de  Montejo  objected,  saying  that  they  would  not  be  able 
to  hold  out  against  the  great  number  of  warriors  which  the 
country  contained,  moreover,  all  of  us  soldiers  were 
thoroughly  tired  of  seafaring. 

So  we  turned  round  and  set  all  sail  before  the  wind, 
and  aided  by  the  currents,  in  a  few  days  we  reached  the 
mouth  of  the  great  Rio  de  Coatzacoalcos,  but  we  could 
not  enter  it  on  account  of  unfavourable  weather,  and  going 
close  in  shore  we  entered  the  Rio  de  Tonalá,  to  which  we 
gave  the  name  of  San  Anton.  There  we  careened  one  of 
the  ships  which  was  making  water  fast,  for  on  entering  the 
river  she  had  struck  on  the  bar  where  the  water  is  very 

While  we  were  repairing  the  ship  many  Indians  came 
in  a  most  friendly  manner  from  the  town  of  Tonalá,  which 
is  about  a  league  distant,  and  brought  maize  bread,  and 
fish  and  fruit,  and  gave  them  to  us  with  great  good  will. 
The  captain  showed  them  much  attention  and  ordered 
them  to  be  given  white  and  green  beads,  and  made  signs 
to  them  that  they  should  bring  gold  for  barter  and  we 
would  give  them  our  goods  in  exchange  ;  so  they  brought 
jewels  of  low  grade  gold,  and  we  gave  them  beads  in 
return.  People  came  also  from  Coatzacoalcos  and  the 
other  towns  in  the  neighbourhood  and  brought  jewelry, 
but  this  did  not  amount  to  anything. 

Besides  these  things  for  barter,  the  Indians  of  that 
province  usually  brought  with  them  highly  polished 
copper  axes  with  painted  wooden  handles,  as  though 
for  show  or  as  a  matter  of  elegance,  and  we  thought 
that  they  were  made  of  inferior  gold,  and  began  to  barter 
for  them,  and  in  three  days  we  had  obtained  more  than 
six  hundred,  and  we  were  very  well  contented  thinking 
that  they  were  made  of  debased  gold,  and  the  Indians 
were  even  more  contented  with  their  beads,  but  it  was  no 


good  to  either  party,  for  the  axes  were  made  of  copper, 
and  the  beads  were  valueless.  One  sailor  had  bought 
seven  axes,  and  was  very  well  pleased  with  them.* 

I  also  remember  that  a  soldier  named  Bartolomé  Pardo, 
went  to  one  of  the  Idol  Houses  which  stood  on  a  hill, 
(which  as  I  have  already  said  are  called  Cues,  which  means 
houses  of  the  Gods)  and  in  that  house  he  found  many 
Idols,  and  copal,  which  is  a  resin  used  as  incense,  and 
stone  knives  used  for  sacrifices  and  circumcision,  and  in  a 
wooden  chest  he  found  many  articles  of  gold,  such  as 
diadems  and  necklaces,  and  two  Idols  and  some  hollow 
beads.  The  soldier  took  the  gold  for  himself  and  the 
other  Idols  and  offerings  he  brought  to  the  captain. 
However,  someone  had  seen  what  was  done,  and  reported 
it  to  Grijalva,  and  he  wanted  to  take  the  gold  from  the 
soldier,  but  we  begged  that  it  might  be  left  to  him,  as  he 
was  a  respectable  man,  so  after  the  Royal  Fifth  had  been 
taken  for  His  Majesty,  the  rest  was  given  back  to  the 
poor  soldier,  and  it  was  worth  about  one  hundred  and  fifty 

^  The  Alonzo  Remón  Edition  says  that  he  bought  them  secretly, 
**  and  it  seems  that  another  sailor  told  this  to  the  captain,  and  he 
ordered  them  to  be  given  up,  but  as  we  all  pleaded  for  him,  thinking 
that  the  axes  were  gold,  the  captain  gave  them  back  again." 

•  In  the  original  MSS.  the  following  passage  is  blotted  out : — 
I  sowed  the  seeds  of  some  oranges  near  to  another  Idol  house,  and 
it  happened  thus : —There  were  so  many  mosquitos  near  the  river 
that  ten  of  us  soldiers  went  up  to  sleep  in  a  lofty  Idol  house,  and  close 
by  that  house  I  sowed  the  seeds  which  I  had  brought  from  Cuba,  for 
there  was  a  rumour  that  we  were  coming  back  to  settle,  they  came  up 
very  well,  for  it  seems  that  the  Papas,  when  they  saw  that  they  were 
plants  differing  from  those  they  knew,  protected  them  and  watered 
theni  and  kept  them  free  from  weeds ;  and  all  the  oranges  in  that 
P>;ov"^ce  are  the  descendants  of  these  plants.  I  know  well  that  it 
will  be  said  that  these  old  tales  have  nothing  to  do  with  my 
history,  so  I  must  leave  off  telling  them.—G.  G. 

The  Alonzo  Remón  Edition  adds  :— And  I  have  called  this  to  mind 
because  these  were  the  first  oranges  planted  in  New  Spain.  After  the 
fall  of  Mexico,  when  the  towns  subject  to  Coatzacoalcos  had  been 
pacified,  this  was  looked  on  as  the  best  province,  being  the  best 
situated  in  all  New  Spain,  both  on  account  of  the  mines  it  possessed 

Series  II.    Vol.  XXllI. 

Facsimile  (reduced)  of  Title-Page  of 

HERRERA'S    **  DESCRIPCION,"    1601. 
Showing  Mexican  Gods,  Temples,  etc. 

Reproduced  and  printed  for  the  Hakluyt  Society  by  Donald  Macbeth,  Í90S- 


We  left  the  Indians  of  those  provinces  well  contented, 
and  going  on  board  ship  again,  we  went  on  our  way 
towards  Cuba,^  and  in  forty-five  days,  sometimes  with  fair 
weather  and  at  other  times  with  bad  weather,  we  arrived 
at  Santiago  de  Cuba  where  Diego  Velasquez  was  residing, 
and  he  gave  us  a  very  good  reception. 

When  the  Governor  saw  the  gold  that  we  brought, 
which  was  worth  four  thousand  dollars,  and  with  that 
which  had  already  been  brought  by  Pedro  de  Alvarado, 
amounted  in  all  to  twenty  thousand  dollars,  (and  some 
say  that  it  was  more)  he  was  well  contented.  Then 
the  officers  of  the  King  took  the  Royal  Fifth,  but 
when  the  six  hundred  axes  which  we  thought  were  low 
grade  gold  were  brought  out,  they  were  all  rusty  like 
copper  which  they  proved  to  be,  and  there  was  a  good 
laugh  at  us,  and  they  made  great  fun  of  our  trading. 

The  Governor  was  very  pleased  at  all  this,  but  he  did 
not  seem  to  be  on  good  terms  with  his  kinsman  Grijalva, 
and  he  had  no  cause  for  it,  merely  that  Francisco  de 
Montejo  and  Pedro  de  Alvarado  were  not  on  good  terms 
with  Grijalva,  and  Alonzo  de  Avila  added  to  the  trouble. 
As  soon  as  these  squabbles  were  over  there  began  to  be 
talk  of  sending  another  fleet,  and  gossip  as  to  who  would 
be  chosen  as  captain,  but  I  will  leave  this  for  the  present 
and  will  tell  how  Diego  Velasquez  sent  to  Spain  to 
petition  His  Majesty  to  give  him  a  commission  to  trade 
and  to  conquer,  settle  and  apportion,  the  lands  which  had 
been  discovered. 

as  well  as  for  its  good  harbour,  for  it  was  a  land  both  rich  in  gold, 
and  in  pasture  for  cattle.  For  this  reason  it  was  settled  by  the 
principal  Conquistadores  of  Mexico,  of  whom  I  was  one.  So  I  went 
to  look  for  my  orange  trees  and  transplanted  them  and  they  turned 
out  very  well. 

*  The  author  of  the  Itinerario  says  that  they  touched  at  Campeche 
and  secured  enough  maize,  water  and  firewood  to  supply  them  for  the 
remainder  of  the  voyage. 

BOOK  11. 




How  Diego  Velasquez  sent  to  Spain  to  petition  His  Majesty  to 
grant  him  a  commission,  to  trade  with,  and  conquer  the 
country,  and  to  settle  and  apportion  the  land  as  soon  as  peace 
was  established. 

LTHOUGH  it  may  seem  to  the  reader 
that  in  relating  what  I  now  call  to 
mind,  I  am  wandering  far  away  from 
my  story,  nevertheless  it  seems  to  me 
proper  that,  before  I  begin  to  tell 
about  the  valiant  and  energetic  Captain 
Cortes,  certain  things  should  be  mentioned,  both  for 
reasons  which  will  be  apparent  later  on,  and  because 
when  two  or  three  events  happen  at  the  same  time,  one 
cannot  relate  them  together,  but  only  that  one  which 
falls  into  its  place  in  the  story. 

The  fact  is  that  when  the  captain,  Pedro  de  Alvarado 
arrived  at  Santiago  de  Cuba  with  the  gold  from  the  lands 
which  we  had  discovered,  as  I  have  already  related,  Diego 
Velasquez  was  in  fear  lest,  before  he  could  make  his 
report  to  His  Majesty,  some  court  favourite  should  rob 


him  of  his  reward,  and  ask  it  from  His  Majesty  for  him- 
self. For  this  reason  he  sent  to  Spain  his  chaplain,  named 
Benito  Martinez,  a  man  well  skilled  in  business,  with  the 
evidence  and  letters  for  Don  Juan  Rodriguez  de  Fonseca, 
Bishop  of  Burgos,  and  Archbishop  of  Rosano,  for  such  are 
his  titles,  and  to  the  Licentiate,  Luis  Zapata,  and  to  the 
Secretary,  Lope  de  Conchillos,  who  at  th^t  time  looked 
after  the  Affairs  of  the  Indies.  Diego  Velasquez  was  the 
very  humble  servant  of  them  all,  especially  of  the  Bishop, 
and  he  gave  them  Indian  townships  in  the  Island  of  Cuba, 
so  that  their  inhabitants  might  extract  gold  from  the 
mines  for  them,  and  for  this  reason  they  were  ready  to 
do  much  for  Diego  Velasquez. 

At  this  time  His  Majesty  was  away  in  Flanders.  Velas- 
quez also  sent  to  these  gentlemen,  just  now  mentioned 
by  me,  some  of  the  jewels  of  gold  which  we  had  obtained 
by  barter.  Now  everything  that  was  done  by  the  Royal 
Council  of  the  Indies  was  done  by  the  orders  of  these 
gentlemen,  and  that  which  Diego  Velasquez  wished  to 
have  arranged  was,  that  he  should  be  given  authority  to 
trade  with,  conquer  and  settle  all  this  land  which  he 
had  recently  discovered,  and  a'hy  that  he  might  there- 
after discover.  He  said  in  his  reports  and  letters  that 
he  had  spent  many  thousands  of  gold  dollars  in  the 
discovery.  So  the  Chaplain,  Benito  Martinez,  went  to 
Spain  and  succeeded  in  obtaining  all  that  he  asked  for, 
and  even  more,  for  he  brought  back  a  decree  appointing 
Diego  Velasquez,  Adelantado  of  the  Island  of  Cuba. 
Although  what  I  have  here  stated  was  already  settled, 
the  despatches  did  not  arrive  before  the  valiant  Cortes 
had  already  sailed  with  a  fresh  fleet.  I  n^ist  leave  this 
matter  here,  both  the  despatches  of  which  Benito 
Martinez  was  the  bearer,  and  the  fleet  of  the  captain 
Cortes,  and  state  that  while  writing  this  story  I  have 
seen  the  chronicles  written   by  the  historian.  Francisco 



Lopes  de  Gómara,  and  those  of  the  Doctor  Yllescas  and 
of  Jovio,  in  which  they  treat  of  the  conquest  of  New 
Spain.  I  feel  bound  to  declare  that,  wherever  it  appears 
to  contradict  the  others,  my  story  represents  events 
clearly  and  truly,  and  runs  very  diffeVently  from  what 
the  historians  I  have  named  have  written. 


Concerning  some  errors  and  other  things  written  by  the  Historians 
Gómara  and  Yllescas  about  affairs  in  New  Spain. 

While  I  was  writing  this  story,  I  saw  by  chance,  what 
had  been  written  by  Gómara,  Yllescas  and  Jovio,  about 
the  conquest  of  Mexico  and  New  Spain,  and  when  I  had 
read  their  accounts  and  saw  and  appreciated  their  polished 
style,  and  thought  how  rudely  and  lamely  my  story  was  ^ 
told,  I  stopped  writing  it,  seeing  that  such  good  histories 
already  existed.  Being  in  this  perplexed  state  of  mind,  I 
began  to  look  into  the  arguments  and  discourses  which 
are  told  in  these  books,  and  I  saw  that  from  beginning  to 
end  they  did  not  tell  correctly  what  took  place  in  New 
Spain.  When  they  begin  to  write  about  the  great  cities, 
and  the  great  number  of  the  inhabitants,  they  are  as  ready 
to  write  eighty  thousand  as  eight  thousand.  Then  about 
the  great  slaughter  which  they  say  we  committed  : — As 
we  were  only  four  hundred  and  fifty  soldiers  who  marched 
to  that  war,  we  had  enough  to  do  to  defend  ourselves  from 
being  killed  or  defeated  and  carried  off ;  and  even  had  the 
Indians  been  craven  cowards,  we  could  not  have  committed 
all  the  slaughter  attributed  to  us,  more  particularly  as 
the  Indians  were  very  bold  warriors  who  had  cotton 
armour  which  shielded  their  bodies,  and  were  armed  with 
bows,  arrows,  shields,  long  lances,  and  two-handled  stone- 
edged   swords,   which    cut    better  than   oqr  swords    did. 


Nevertheless,  the  historians  say  that  we  made  as  great  a 
slaughter  and  committed  as  great  cruelties  as  did  Alaric, 
that  bravest  of  kings,  and  the  haughty  warrior  Attila,  on 
the  battlefields  of  Catalonia.  To  go  back  to  my  story,  they 
say  that  we  destroyed  and  burnt  many  cities  and  temples, 
that  is  their  Cues,  and  in  saying  this,  they  seem  to  think 
that  they  are  giving  pleasure  ta  those  who  read  their 
histories,  and  they  do  not  understand  when  they  write, 
that  the  conquerors  themselves,  and  the  inquisitive  readers, 
who  know  what  really  took  place,  could  tell  them  clearly 
that  if  they  write  other  histories  in  the  way  they  have 
written  that  of  New  Spain,  such  history  will  be  worthless. 
The  amusing  part  of  it  is,  that  they  exalt  some  captains, 
and  belittle  others,  and  they  speak  of  some,  who  were  not 
even  present  at  the  conquest,  as  though  they  were  there, 
and  they  make  many  other  statements  of  equal  value,  but 
there  are  so  many  matters  about  which  they  are  ignorant, 
that  I  cannot  note  them  all.  But  there  is  one  thing  that 
they  say  worse  than  all  and  that  is  that  Cortes  sent  secret 
orders  to  scuttle  the  ships,  on  the  contrary,  it  was  on  the 
distinct  advice  of  most  of  the  other  soldiers  and  my  own, 
that  he  sent  to  have  the  ships  sunk  without  any  conceal- 
ment whatever,  aitd  it  was  done  so  that  the  sailors  who 
were  in  them  might  help  to  keep  watch  and  make  war. 
Indeed,  in  all  they  write,  they  speak  with  prejudice,  so 
why  should  I  go  on  dipping  my  pen  to  mention  each  item 
separately,  it  is  merely  wasting  ink  and  paper,  moreover 
I  should  say  it  badly,  for  I  have  got  no  style. 

Let  us  leave  this  discussion  and  get  back  to  my  theme. 
After  having  carefully  examined  all  that  I  have  said  as  to 
the  nonsense  that  has  been  written  about  the  affairs  of 
New  Spain,  I  continued  writing  my  own  story,  for  it  is 
the  truest  politeness  and  the  most  courteous  style  to  tell 
the  truth  in  what  one  writes,  and  knowing  this,  I  made  up 
my  mind  to  carry  out  my  plan,  with  such  embellishments 

F  2 


and  discourses  as  will  be  seen  further  on,  so  that  the 
conquest  of  New  Spain  may  be  brought  to  light  and  may 
be  clearly  seen  in  the  way  it  ought  to  be  seen. 

I  wish  to  return  to  my  story  pen  in  hand  as  a  good 
pilot  carries  his  lead  in  hand  at  sea,  looking  out  for  shoals 
ahead,  when  he  knows  that  they  will  be  met  with,  so  will 
I  do  in  speaking  of  the  errors  of  the  historians,  but  t  shall 
not  mention  them  all,  for  if  one  had  to  follow  them  item 
by  item,  the  trouble  of  discarding  the  rubbish  would  be 
greater  than  that  of  gathering  in  the  harvest 

I  say  that  upon  this  story  of  mine  the  historians  may 
build  up  and  give  as  much  praise  as  pleases  them  to  the 
valiant  captain  Cortes  and  to  the  sturdy  Conquistadores. 
It  was  a  great  enterprise  that  was  accomplished  by  our 
hands,  and  what  historians  may  write  about  it,  we,  who 
were  eye  witnesses  will  certify  when  it  is  true,  as  we  now 
certify  to  the  errors,  and  as  so  much  daring  and  zeal  has 
been  shown  in  writing  falsely  and  with  prejudice,  we 
appreciate  how  holy  and  blessed  is  the  truth,  and  that  all 
that  is  said  against  it  is  cursed. 

Moreover  it  appears  that  Gömara^  was  inspired  to  write 
with  such  laudation  of  Cortes,  for  we  look  upon  it  as 
certain  that  his  palms  were  greased,  for  he  dedicated  his 
history  to  the  present  Marquis,  the  son  of  Cortes,  insisting 
on  his  right  so  to  dedicate  and  recommend  it  before  our 
lord  the  King,  and  the  members  of  the  Royal  Council  of 
the  Indies  ought  to  have  had  the  mistakes  erased  that 
are  written  down  in  his  books. 

1  Alonzo  Remón  Edition  adds  :-— "  Not  only  did  Gómara  write  down 
so  many  mistakes  and  things  that  are  not  true,  but  he  misled  many 
writers  and  historians  who  since  his  time  have  written  about  the 
affairs  of  New  Spain,  such  as  the  Doctor  Yllescas  and  Pablo  Jovio 
who  copy  his  very  words." 



How  we  came  again  with  another  fleet  to  the  newly  discovered  lands 
with  the  valiant  and  energetic  Don  Hernando  Cortes  (who  was 
afterwards  Marques  del  Valle)  as  captain  of  the  fleet,  and  the 
attempts  that  were  made  to  prevent  his  going  in  command. 

After  the  return  of  the  Captain  Juan  de  Grijalva  to 
Cuba,  when  the  Governor  Diego  Velasquez  understood 
how  rich  were  these  newly  discovered  lands,  he  ordered 
another  fleet,  much  larger  than  the  former  one  to  be  sent 
off,  and  he  had  already  collected  in  the  Port  of  Santiago, 
where  he  resided,  ten  ships,  four  of  them  were  those  in 
which  we  had  returned  with  Juan  de  Grijalva,  which  had 
at  once  been  careened,  and  the  other  six  had  been  got 
together  from  other  ports  in  the  Island.  He  had  them 
furnished  with  provisions,  consisting  of  Cassava  bread  and 
sáilt  pork,  for  at  that  time  there  were  neither  sheep  nor 
cattle  in.  the  Island  of  Cuba,  as  it  had  been  only  recently 
settled.  These  provisions  were  only  to  last  until  we 
arrived  at  Havana,  for  it  was  at  that  port  that  we  were 
to  take  in  our  stores,  as  was  afterwards  done. 

I  must  cease  talking  of  this  and  tell  about  the  disputes 
which  arose  over  the  choice  of  a  captain  for  the  expedition. 
There  were  many  debates  and  much  opposition,  for  some 
gentleman  said  that  Vasco  Porcallo,  a  near  relation  of  the 
Conde  de  Feria,  should  be  captain,  but  Diego  Velasquez 
feared  that  he  would  rise  against  him  with  the  fleet,  for 
he  was  very  daring ;  others  said  that  Agustin  Bermudez 
or  Antonio  Velasquez  Borrejo,  or  Bernadino  Velasquez, 
kinsman  of  Diego  Velasquez  should  go  in  command. 

Most  of  us  soldiers  who  were  there  said  that  we  should 
prefer  to  go  again  under  Juan  de  Grijalva,  for  he  was 
a  good  captain,  and  there  was  no  fault  to  be  found  either 
with  his  person  or  his  capacity  for  command. 

While  things  were  going  on  in  the  way  I  have  related, 

fo  hernÍndo  cortís  chosbn 

two  great  favourites  of  Diego  Velasquez  named  Andres 
de  Duero,  the  Governor's  Secretary,  and  Amador  de  Lares, 
His  Majesty's  accountant,  secretly  formed  a  partnership 
with  a  gentleman  named  Hernando  Cortes,  a  native  of 
Medellin,  who  held  a  grant  of  Indians  in  the  Island.  A 
short  while  before,  Cortes  had  married  a  lady  named 
Catalina  Juarez  la  Marcayda ;  this  lac^j^k  was  sister  of  a 
certain  Juan  Juarez  who  after  the  conquest  of  New  Spain 
was  a  settler  at  Mexico.  As  far  as  I  know,  and  from  what 
others  say,  it  was  a  love  match.  On  this  matter  of  the 
marriage  other  persons  who  saw  it  have  had  much  to  say, 
and  for  that  reason  I  will  not  touch  any  more  on  this 
delicate  subject. 

I  will  go  on  to  tell  about  this  partnership,  it  came  about 
in  this  manner: — These  two  great  favourites  of  Velasquez 
agreed  that  they  would  get  him  to  appoint  Cortes  Captain 
General  of  the  whole  fleet,  and  that  they  would  divide 
between  the  three  of  them,  the  spoil  of  gold,  silver  and 
jewels  which  might  fall  to  Cortes*  share.  For  secretly 
Diego  Velasquez  was  sending  to  trade  and  not  to  form 
a  settlement,  as  was  apparent  afterwards  from  the  instruc- 
tions given  about  it,  although  it  was  announced  and 
published  that  the  expedition  was  for  the  purpose  of 
founding  a  settlement. 

When  this  arrangement  had  been  made,  Duero  and  the 
accountant  went  to  work  in  such  a  way  with  Diego 
Velasquez,  and  addressed  such  honied  words  to  him, 
praising  Cortes  highly,  as  the  very  man  for  the  position 
of  Captain,  as  in  addition  to  being  energetic  he  knew  how 
to  command  and  ensure  respect,  and  as  one  who  would  be 
faithful  in  everything  entrusted  to  him,  both  in  regard  to 
the  fleet  and  in  everything  else,  (pointing  out  too,  that 
he  was  his  godson,  for  Velasquez  was  his  sponsor  when 
Cortes  married  Dofia  Catalina  Juarez),  that  they  persuaded 
him  to  choose  Cortes  as  Captain  General 


Andres  de  Duero,  the  Governor's  Secretary,  drew  up 
the  documents  in  very  good  ink^  as  the  proverb  says,  in 
%the  way  Cortes  wished  with  very  ample  powers. 

When  the  appointment  was  made  public,  some  persons 
were  pleased  and  others  annoyed. 

One  Sunday  when  Diego  Velasquez  went  to  Mass, — and 
as  he  was  Gof^nor  he  was  accompanied  by  the  most 
distinguished  persons  in  the  town, — he  placed  Hernando 
Cortes  on  his  right  hand  so  as  to  pay  him  honour.  A 
buffoon,  called  the  mad  Cervantes,  ran  in  front  of  Diego 
Velasquez,  making  grimaces  and  cracking  jokes  and  he 
cried  out — 

"The  parade  of  my  friend  Diego,  Diego, 

"  Who  then  is  this  captain  of  your  choice  ? 

'*  He  comes  from  Medellin  in  Estramadura 

"  A  very  valiant  captain  indeed 

"  Have  a  care  lest  he  run  off  with  the  fleet 

"  For  all  judge  him  a  man  to  take  care  of  his  own." 

And  he  cried  out  other  nonsense,  all  of  it  somewhat 
malicious.  And  as  he  would  go  on  shouting  in  this  way, 
Andres  de  Duero  who  was  walking  near  Diego  Velasquez, 
gave  the  buffoon  a  cuff  and  said  "Silence  thou  crazy 
drunkard,  and  don't  be  such  a  rogue,  for  we  are  well 
aware  that  these  malicious  sayings,  passed  off  as  wit,  are 
not  made  up  by  thee,"  and  still  the  madman  ran  on, 
notwithstanding  the  cuffs,  saying,  "  Viva,  Viva,  the  parade 
of  my  friend  Diego  and  his  daring  Captain  Cortes,  I  swear 
friend  Diego  that  so  as  not  to  see  thee  weeping  over  the 
bad  bargain  thou  hast  made  this  day,  I  wish  to  go  with 
Cortes  to  these  rich  lands."  There  is  no  doubt  that  some 
kinsman  of  the  Governor  had  given  gold  pieces  to  the 
buffoon  to  utter  these  malicious  sayings,  passing  them  off 
as  witty.  However,  this  all  came  true,  and  it  is  said  that 
madmen  do  sometimes  hit  the  mark  in  their  speeches. 

^  De  muy  buena  tinta  »  most  efficiently.   . 


Truly  Hernando  Cortes  was  chosen  to  exalt  our  holy 
faith  and  to  serve  his  Majesty,  as  I  will  tell  later  on. 

Before  going  any  further  I  wish  to  say  that  the  valiant 
and  energetic  Hernando  Cortes  was  a  gentleman  by  birth 
(hijo-d'algo)  by  four  lines  of  descent.  The  first  through 
the  Cortéses,  for  so  his  father  Martin  Cortes  was  named, 
the  second  through  the  Pizarros,  the  third  through  the 
Monroys  and  the  fourth  through  the  Altamiranos.  Al- 
though he  was  such  a  valiant,  energetic  and  daring 
captain,  I  will  not  from  now  on,  call  him  by  any  of  these 
epithets  of  valiant,  or  energetic,  nor  will  I  speak  of  him  as 
Marques  del  Valle,  but  simply  as  Hernando  Cortes.  For 
the  name  Cortes  alone  was  held  in  as  high  respect 
throughout  the  Indies  as  well  as  in  Spain,  as  was  the 
name  of  Alexander  in  Macedonia,  and  those  of  Julius 
Caesar  and  Pompey  and  Scipio  among  the  Romans,  and 
Hannibal  among  the  Carthaginians,  or  in  our  own  Castille 
the  name  of  Gonzalo  Hernandez,  the  Great  Captain.  And 
the  valiant  Cortes  himself  was  better  pleased  not  to  be 
called  by  lofty  titles  but  simply  by  his  name,  and  so  I 
will  call  him  for  the  future.  And  now  I  must  cease 
talking  of  this,  and  relate  in  the  next  chapter  what  he 
undertook  and  accomplished  about  the  preparation  of  his 


How  Cortes  prepared  and  continued  the  arrangements  necessary 
for  the  dispatch  of  the  fleet. 

As  soon  as  Hernando  Cortes  had  been  appointed  General 
in  the  way  I  have  related,  he  began  to  search  for  all  sorts 
of  arms,  guns,  powder  and  crossbows  and  every  kind  of 
warlike  stores  which  he  could  get  together,  and  all  sorts  of 
articles  to  be  used  for  barter,  and  other  things  necessary 
for  the  expedition. 

Under  hernando  cortés.  73 

Moreover  he  began  to  adorn  himself  and  be  more  careful 
of  his  appearance  than  before,  and  he  wore  a  plume 
of  feathers  with  a  medal,  and  a  gold  chain,  and  a  velvet 
cloak  trimmed  with  knots  of  gold,  in  fact  he  looked  like  a 
gallant  and  courageous  Captain.  However,  he  had  no 
money  to  defray  the  expenses  I  have  spoken  about,  for 
at  that  time  he  was  very  poor  and  much  in  debt,  although 
he  had  a  good  encomienda  of  Indians  who  were  getting 
him  a  return  from  his  gold  mines,  but  he  spent  all  of 
it  on  his  person  and  on  finery  for  his  wife  whom  he  had 
recently  married,  and  on  entertaining  some  guests  who  had 
come  to  visit  him.  For  he  was  affable  in  his  manner  and 
a  good  talker,  and  he  had  twice  been  chosen  Alcalde  of 
the  town  of  Santiago  Baracoa  where  he  had  settled,  and 
in  that  country  it  is  esteemed  a  great  honour  to  be  chosen 
as  Alcalde, 

When  some  merchant  friends  of  his  named  Jaime  Tria, 
Jerónimo  Tria  and  Pedro  de  Jerez  saw  that  he  had 
obtained  this  command  as  Captain  General,  they  lent 
him  four  thousand  gold  dollars  in  coin  and  gave  him 
merchandise  worth  another  four  thousand  dollars  secured 
on  his  Indians  and  estates.  Then  he  ordered  two  standards 
and  banners  to  be  made,  worked  in  gold  with  the  royal 
arms  and  a  cross  on  each  side  with  a  legend  which  said> 
"  Comrades,  let  us  follow  the  sign  of  the  holy  Cross  with 
true  faith,  and  through  it  we  shall  conquer."  And  he 
ordered  a  proclamation  to  be  made  with  the  sound  of 
drums  and  trumpets  in  the  name  of  His  Majesty  and 
by  Diego  Velasquez  in  the  King's  name,  and  in  his  own  as 
Captain  General,  to  the  effect  that  whatsoever  person  might 
wish  to  go  in  his  company  to  the  newly  discovered  lands 
to  conquer  them  and  to  settle  there,  should  receive  his 
share  of  the  gold,  silver  and  riches  which  might  be  gained 

*  Alcalde  —  Mayor. 


and  an  encomienda  of  Indians  after  the  country  had  been 
pacified,  and  that  to  do  these  things  Diego  Velasquez 
held  authority  from  His  Majesty. 

Although  he  put  in  the  proclamation  this  about  the 
authority  of  Our  Lord  the  King,  the  Chaplain,  Benito 
Martinez,  had  not  yet  arrived  from  Spain  .with  the  Com- 
mission which  Diego  Velasquez  had  sent  him  to  obtain, 
as  I  have  already  mentioned  in  a  former  chapter. 

When  this  news  was  known  throughout  Cuba,  and 
Cortes  had  written  to  all  his  friends  in  the  different 
towns  begging  them  to  get  ready  to  come  with  him  on 
this  expedition,  some  of  them  sold  their  farms  so  as  to 
buy  arms  and  horses,  others  began  to  prepare  cassava 
bread  and  to  salt  pork  for  stores,  and  to  make  quilted 
cotton  armour,  and  they  got  ready  what  was  necessary  as 
well  as  they  could. 

We  assembled  at  Santiago  de  Cuba,  whence  we  set  out 
with  the  fleet  more  than  three  hundred  and  fifty  soldiers 
in  number.  From  the  house  of  Velasquez  there  came 
Diego  de  Ordás,  the  chief  Mayordomo,  whom  Velasquez 
himself  sent  with  orders  to  keep  his  eyes  open  and  see 
that  no  plots  were  hatched  in  the  fleet,  for  he  was  always 
distrustful  of  Cortes  although  he  concealed  his  fears. 
There  came  also  Francisco  de  Morla  and  an  Escobar, 
whom  we  called  The  Page,  and  a  Heredia,  and  Juan 
Ruano  and  Pedro  Escudero,  and  Martin  Ramos  de  Lares, 
and  many  others  who  were  friends  and  followers  of  Diego 
Velasquez ;  and  I  place  myself  last  on  the  list  for  I  also 
came  from  the  house  of  Diego  Velasquez,  for  he  was  my 

I  have  put  down  here  the  names  of  these  soldiers  from 
memory,  later  on,  at  the  proper  time  and  place  I  will 
record  all  those  who  went  in  the  fleet  whose  names  I 
can  call  to  mind,  and  say  from  what  part  of  Spain  they 


Cortés  worked  hard  to  get  his  fleet  under  way  and 
hastened  on  his  preparations,  for  already  envy  and  malice 
had  taken  possession  of  the  relations  of  Diego  Velasquez 
who  were  affronted  because  their  kinsman  neither  trusted 
them  nor  took  any  notice  of  them  and  because  he  had 
given  charge  and  command  to  Cortes,  knowing  that  he 
had  looked  upon  him  as  a  great  enemy  only  a  short  time 
before,  on  account  of  his  marriage,  already  mentioned  by 
me ;  so  they  went  about  grumbling  at  their  kinsman 
Diego  Velasquez  and  at  Cortes,  and  by  every  means  in 
their  power  they  worked  on  Diego  Velasquez  to  induce 
him  to  revoke  the  commission. 

Now  Cortes  was  advised  of  all  this,  and  for  that  reason 
never  left  the  Governor's  side,  and  always  showed  himself 
to  be  his  zealous  servant,  and  kept  on  telling  him  that, 
God  willing,  he  was  going  to  make  him  a  very  illustrious 
and  wealthy  gentleman  in  a  very  short  time.  Moreover 
Andres  de  Duero  was  always  advising  Cortes  to  hasten 
the  embarkation  of  himself  and  his  soldiers,  for  Diego 
Velasquez  was  already  changing  his  mind  owing  to  the 
importunity  of  his  family. 

When  Cortes  knew  this  he  sent  orders  to  his  wife  that 
all  provisions  of  food  which  he  wished  to  take  and  any 
other  gifts  (such  as  women  usually  give  to  their  husbands 
when  starting  on  such  an  expedition)  should  be  sent  at 
once  and  placed  on  board  ship. 

He  had  already  had  a  proclamation  made  that  on  that 
day  by  nightfall  all  ships.  Captains,  pilots  and  soldiers 
should  be  on  board  and  no  one  should  remain  on  shore. 
When  Cortes  had  seen  all  his  company  embarked  he  went 
to  take  leave  of  Diego  Velasquez,  accompanied  by  his 
great  friends  and  many  other  gentlemen,  and  all  the  most 
distinguished  citizens  of  that  town. 

After  many  demonstrations  and  embraces  of  Cortes  by 
the  Governor,  and  of  the  Governor  by  Cortes,  he  took  his 


leave.  The  next  day  very  early  after  having  heard  Mass 
we  went  to  our  ships,  and  Diego  Velasquez  himself 
accompanied  us,  and  again  they  embraced  with  many  fair 
speeches  one  to  the  other  until  we  set  sail. 

A  few  days  later,  in  fine  weather,  we  reached  the  Port 
of  Trinidad  where  we  brought  up  in  the  harbour  and 
went  ashore,  and  nearly  all  the  citizens  of  that  town  came 
out  to  meet  us  ;   and  entertained  us  well. 

Here  in  this  story  will  be  seen  all  the  opposition  which 
Cortes  met  with,  and  how  what  happened  differed  entirely 
from  the  account  given  by  Gömara  in  his  history. 

Note. — This  account  differs  very  considerably  from  that  given 
by  Las  Casas  (Lib.  Ill,  cap.  cxv).  It  appears  that  Diego  Velasquez 
had  already  determined  to  take  the  command  from  Cortes,  *'  at  once 
on  the  very  night  that  he  became  aware  of  what  was  going  on,  as  soon  ' 
as  Diego  Velasquez  was  in  bed,  and  all  those  who  belonged  to  [him,] 
Cortes,  had  left  the  Palace,  he  went  in  the  profound  silence  of  the 
night  in  the  utmost  haste  to  awaken  the  rest  of  his  friends  telling 
them  that  it  was  advisable  to  embark  at  once.  Taking  with  him  a 
company  sufficient  to  defend  his  person,  he  immediately  went 
off  to  the  slaughter  house  and,  although  it  troubled  the  contractor 
who  had  to  supply  the  whole  town  with  meat,  he  took  it  all  away 
without  leaving  a  single  cow,  pig,  or  sheep,  and  had  it  carried  to  the 
ships,  exclaiming,  but  not  out  loud,  for  it  might  perhaps  have  cost  him 
his  life,  that  they  could  lay  the  blame  on  him  [Cortes]  for  not  supplying 
meat  to  the  town.  Then  Cortes  took  off  a  small  golden  chain  that  he 
wore  round  his  neck  and  gave  it  to  the  contractor  or  butcher,  and 
this  Cortes  told  me  himself, 

"  Cortes  at  once  went  on  board  ship  with  all  the  people  that  he 
could  arouse  without  noise.  Many  of  the  people  who  had  agreed  to 
go  with  him  and  who  really  went  were  already  on  board. 

"  When  he  was  gone  either  the  butcher  or  others  who  knew  of  his 
departure  advised  Diego  Velasquez  that  Cortes  was  gone  and  was 
already  on  board  ship.  Diego  Velasquez  got  up  and  mounted  his 
horse,  and  all  the  people  of  the  city,  in  a  state  of  astonishment, 
accompanied  him  to  the  landing  place  by  the  sea  at  daybreak. 
When  Cortes  saw  him  he  ordered  a  boat  to  be  got  ready  with 
cannon,  guns,  muskets  and  crossbows,  and  all  the  necessary  arms, 
and  accompanied  by  the  men  he  could  trust  best,  with  his  magistrate's 
wand  [in  his  hand]  he  came  within  crossbow  shot  of  the  land  and 


there  stopped.  Diego  Velasquez  said  to  him  '  How  is  it,  compadre,^ 
that  you  are  going  off  like  this  ?  Is  this  the  right  way  to  take  leave 
of  me?'  Cortes  replied  *Senor,  may  your  Excellency  pardon  me, 
but  these  things  and  the  like  are  done  before  they  are  thought  about, 
I  am  at  your  Excellency's  orders.'  Diego  Velasquez  had  nothing  to 
say  when  he  saw  his  infidelity  and  shamelessness.  Cortes  ordered 
the  boat's  head  to  be  turned  and  went  back  to  the  ships,  and  ordered  the 
sails  to  be  hoisted  in  all  haste  [and]  on  the  i8th  Nov.  1518  [he  set 
out]  with  very  little  food  for  the  ships  were  not  yet  fully  laden." 


What  Cortes  did  when  he  arrived  at  the  town  of  Trinidad  and  con- 
cerning the  soldiers  who  there  joined  him  to  go  in  his  company, 
and  other  things  that  happened. 

The  leading  inhabitants  of  that  town  soon  provided 
quarters  for  Cortes  and  all  of  us  among  their  neighbours. 
Cortes  was  lodged  in  the  house  of  Captain  Juan  de 
Grijalva,  and  he  ordered  his  standard  and  the  Royal 
pennant  to  be  set  up  in  front  of  his  quarters  and  issued  a 
proclamation  as  he  had  done  in  Santiago,  and  ordered 
search  to  be  made  for  all  sorts  of  arms,  and  food  and  other 
necessaries  to  be  purchased. 

From  that  town  there  came  to  join  us  five  brothers, 
namely  Pedro  de  Alvarado  and  Jorge  de  Alvarado,  and 
Gonzalo  and  Gomez,  and  Juan  de  Alvarado  the  elder,  who 
was  a  bastard.  The  Captain  Pedro  de  Alvarado  has  often 
been  mentioned  by  me  already.  There  also  joined  us 
from  this  town  Alonzo  de  Avila,  who  went  as  a  Captain 
in  Grijalva's  expedition,  and  Juan  de  Escalante  and  Pedro 
Sanchez  Farfan,  and  Gonzalo  Mejia  who  later  on  became 
treasurer  in  Mexico,  and  a  certain  Baena  and  Juanes  of 
Fuenterrabia,  and  Lares,  the  good  horseman,  so  called 
because  there  was  another  Lares,  and  Cristobal  de  Olid, 
the  Valiant,  who  was    Maestro   de   Campo  during  the 

^  Compadre  =  friend,  crony. 


Mexican  wars,  and  Ortis  the  Musician,  and  Caspar 
Sanchez,  nephew  of  the  treasurer  of  Cuba,  and  Diego  de 
Pineda  or  Pinedo,  and  Alonzo  Rodriguez,  who  owned 
some  rich  gold  mines,  and  Bartolomé  Garcia  and  other 
gentlemen  whose  names  I  do  not  remember,  all  persons  of 

From  Trinidad  Cortes  wrote  to  the  town  of  Santispiritus 
which  was  eighteen  leagues  distant,  informing  all  the 
inhabitants  that  he  was  setting  out  on  this  expedition  in 
His  Majesty's  service,  adding  fair  words  and  inducements 
to  attract  many  persons  of  quality  who  had  settled  in  that 
town,  among  them  Alonzo  Hernándes  Puertocarrero  cousin 
of  the  Count  of  Medelh'n,  and  Gonzalo  de  Sandoval  who 
became  later  on,  in  Mexico,  Alguazil  Mayor}  and  for  eight 
months  was  Governor  of  New  Spain  and  Juan  Velasquez  de 
Leon  came,  a  kinsman  of  Diego  Velasquez,  and  Rodrigo 
Reogel,  and  Gonzalo  Lopes  de  Jimena,  and  his  brother,  and 
Juan  Sedefto  also  came.  This  Juan  Sedefto  was  a  settler  in 
the  town,  I  mention  this  because  we  had  two  others  of  the 
name  Juan  Sedefto  in  the  fleet  All  these  distinguished 
persons  whom  I  have  named  came  from  the  town  of  Santi- 
spiritus to  Trinidad  where  Cortes  was  staying,  and  when 
he  heard  that  they  were  coming  he  went  out  to  meet  them 
with  all  the  soldiers  of  his  company  and  received  them 
with  great  cordiality  and  they  treated  him  with  the  highest 

All  these  settlers  whom  I  have  named  possessed  farms 
near  the  town  where  they  made  Cassava  bread  and  kept 
herds  of  swine,  and  each  one  endeavoured  to  contribute  as 
much  food  as  he  could. 

We  continued  to  enlist  soldiers  and  to  buy  horses,  which 
at  that  time  were  both  scarce  and  costly,  and  as  that 
gentleman  already  mentioned  by  me,  Alonzo  Hernándes 

1  Chief  Constable. 


Puertocarrero,  neither  possessed  a  horse  nor  the  where- 
withal to  buy  one,  Hernando  Cortes  bought  him  a  gray 
mare,  and  paid  for  it  with  some  of  the  golden  knots  off  the 
velvet  cloak  which  as  I  have  said  he  had  had  made  at 
Santiago  de  Cuba. 

At  that  very  time  a  ship  arrived  in  port  from  Havana, 
which  a  certain  Juan  Sedefto,  a  settler  at  Havana,  was 
•taking,  freighted  with  Cassava  bread  and  salt  pork  to  sell 
at  some  gold  mines  near  Santiago  de  Cuba. 

Juan  Sedefto  landed  and  went  to  pay  his  respects  to 
Cortes,  and  after  a  long  conversation  Cortes  bought  the 
ship  and  the  pork  and  bread  on  credit,  and  it  all  came 
with  us.  So  we  already  had  eleven  ships  and  thank  God 
all  was  going  well  with  us. 

Meanwhile  Diego  Velasquez  had  sent  letters  and  com- 
mands for  the  fleet  to  be  detained  and  Cortes  to  be  sent 
to  him  as  a  prisoner. 


How  the  Governor  Diego  Velasquez  sent  two  of  his  servants  post 
haste  to  the  town  of  Trinidad  with  orders  and  authority  to  cancel 
the  appointment  of  Cortes,  detain  the  fleet,  arrest  Cortes  and 
send  him  as  a  prisoner  to  Santiago. 

I  MUST  go  back  a  little  from  our  story,  to  say  that  after 
we  had  set  out  from  Santiago  de  Cuba  with  all  the  ships, 
in  the  way  I  have  already  related,  so  many  things  were 
said  to  Diego  Velasquez  against  Cortes,  that  he  was  forced 
to  change  his  mind,  for  they  told  him  that  Cortes  was 
already  in  rebellion,  and  that  he  left  the  port  by  stealth, 
and  that  he  had  been  heard  to  say  that  although  Diego 
Velasquez  and  his  relations  might  regret  it,  he  intended  to 
be  Captain  and  that  was  the  reason  why  he  had  embarked 


all  his  soldiers  by  night,  so  that  if  any  attempt  were  made 
to  detain  him  by  force  he  might  set  sail ;  they  also  said 
that  Andres  de  Duero,  the  Secretary,  and  the  Accountant 
Amador  de  Lares  had  deceived  Diego  Velasquez  on 
account  of  arrangements  made  between  them  and  Cortes. 
Those  who  took  the  leading  part  in  persuading  Diego 
Velasquez  to  revoke  the  authority  he  had  given  to  Cortes 
were  some  members  of  the  Velasquez  family  and  an  old 
man  named  Juan  Millan  whom  some  called  the  astrologer, 
but  others  said  he  had  a  touch  of  madness  because  he 
acted  without  reflection,  and  this  old  man  kept  repeating 
to  Diego  Velásques  "  Take  care,  Sir,  for  Cortes  will  take 
vengeance  on  you  for  putting  him  in  prison,*  and  as  he  Is 
sly  and  determined  he  will  ruin  you'  if  you  do  not  prevent 
it  at  once." 

And  Velasquez  listened  to  these  speeches,  and  was 
always  haunted  by  suspicions,  so  without  delay  he  sent 
two  messengers  whom  he  trusted,  with  orders  and  instruc- 
tions to  Francisco  Verdugo,  the  Chief  Alcalde  of  Trinidad, 
who  was  his  brother-in-law,  and  wrote  letters  to  other 
friends  and  relations,  to  the  effect  that  on  no  account 
should  the  fleet  be  allowed  to  sail,  and  he  said  in  his 
orders  that  Cortes  should  be  detained  or  taken  prisoner  as 
he  was  no  longer  its  captain,  for  he  had  revoked  his 
commission  and  given  it  to  Vasco  Porcallo.  The  messengers 
also  carried  letters  to  Diego  de  Ordás  and  Francisco  de 
Morla  and  other  dependents  of  his  begging  them  not  to 
allow  the  fleet  to  sail. 

When  Cortes  heard  of  this,  he  spoke  to  Ordás  and 
Francisco  Verdugo  and  to  all  the  soldiers  and  settlers  at 
Trinidad,  whom  he  thought  would  be  against  him  and  in 
favour  of  the  instructions,  and  he  made  such  speeches  and 

^  This  refers  to  an  earlier  incident  in  the  relations  between  Corté$ 
and  Dien^o  Velasquez. 


promises  to  them  that  he  brought  them  over  to  his  side. 
Diego  Ordás  himself  spoke  at  once  to  Francisco  Verdugo, 
the  Alcalde  Mayor  advising  him  to  have  nothing  to  do 
with  the  affair  but  to  hush  it  up,  and  bade  him  note  that 
up  to  that  time  they  had  seen  no  change  in  Cortes,  on 
the  contrary  that  he  showed  himself  to  be  a  faithful 
servant  of  the  Governor,  and  that  if  Velasquez  wished  to 
impute  any  evil  to  him  in  order  to  deprive  him  of  the 
command  of  the  fleet,  it  was  as  well  to  remember  that 
Cortes  had  many  men  of  quality  among  his  friends,  who 
were  unfriendly  to  Velasquez  because  he  had  not  given 
them  good  grants  of  Indians.  In  addition  to  this,  that 
Cortes  had  a  large  body  of  soldiers  with  him  and  was  very 
powerful  and  might  sow  strife  in  the  town,  and  perhaps 
the  soldiers  might  sack  the  town  and  plunder  it,  and  do 
even  worse  damage. 

So  the  matter  was  quietly  dropped  and  one  of  the 
messengers  who  brought  the  letters  and  instructions,  named 
Pedro  Lazo  de  la  Vega  joined  our  company,  and  by  the 
other  messenger  Cortes  sent  a  letter  to  Diego  Velasquez 
written  in  a  very  friendly  manner,  saying  that  he  was 
amazed  at  His  Honour  having  come  to  such  a  decision, 
that  his  desire  was  to  serve  God  and  his  Majesty,  and 
to  obey  him  as  His  Majesty's  representative,  and  that  he 
prayed  him  not  to  pay  any  more  attention  to  what  was 
said  by  the  gentlemen  of  his  family,  nor  to  change  his 
mind  on  account  of  the  speeches  of  such  an  old  lunatic 
as  Juan  Millan.  He  also  wrote  to  all  his  friends  and 
especially  to  his  partners  Duero  and  the  Treasurer. 

When  these  letters  had  been  written  Cortes  ordered  all 
the  soldiers  to  polish  up  their  arms,  and  he  ordered  the 
blacksmiths  in  the  town  to  make  head  pieces,  and  the 
cross  bowmen  to  overhaul  their  stores  and  make  arrows, 
and  he  also  sent  for  the  two  blacksmiths  and  persuaded 
them  to  accompany  us,  which  they  did.    We  were  ten  days 



in  that  town.     Here  I  will  leave  off  and  go  on  to  tell  how 
we  embarked  for  Havana. 

However,  I  wish  first  to  point  out  to  my  readers  how 
different  this  is  from  the  story  of  Francisco  Gómara  who 
says  that  Diego  Velasquez  sent  to  Ordás  telling  him  to 
invite  Cortes  to  dinner  on  board  a  ship,  and  then  to  carry 
him  off  as  a  prisoner  to  Santiago,  and  makes  other  state- 
ments calculated  to  mislead  in  his  history,  but,  so  as 
not  to  become  prolix,  I  will  leave  them  to  the  judgment  of 
interested  readers. 


How  the  Captain  Hernando  Cortes  with  all  the  soldiers  sailed 
along  the  south  coast  to  the  port  of  Havana,^  and  how  another 
ship  was  sent  along  the  north  coast  to  the  same  port,  and 
what  else  took  place. 

When  Cortes  saw  that  there  was  nothing  more  to  be 
done  at  the  town  of  Trinidad  he  summoned  all  the 
soldiers  who  had  assembled  there  to  go  with  him  *  * 
♦  *  *  (Pedro)  de  Alvarado  that  he  should  go  by 
land  to  Havana^  »  «  »  »  »  to  pick  up  some 
soldiers  who  lived  on  farms  along  the  road,  and  I  went 
in  his  company.  Cortes  also  sent  a  gentleman  named 
Juan  de  Escalante,  a  great  friend  of  his,  in  a  ship  along 
the  north  coast,  and  he  sent  all  the  horses  by  land.     When 

^  This  was  on  the  south  coast,  not  the  present  port  of  Havana  on 
the  north  coast,  which  must  have  been  about  thirty  miles  distant. 
Cortes  and  his  fleet  sailed  along  the  south  coast  of  Cuba,  and  the 
"  San  Sebastian ''  and  the  vessel  commanded  by  Juan  de  Escalante 
were  the  only  vessels  on  the  north  side  of  the  Island. 

*  The  Alonzo  Remón  edition  says  "  he  summoned  all  the  gentle- 
men and  soldiers  who  had  assembled  there  to  go  with  him  either  to 
embark  on  the  ships  which  were  in  port  on  the  south  coast,  or  if  they 
preferred  it  to  go  by  land  to  Havana  with  Pedro  de  Alvarado  who  was 
going  to  pick  up  some  soldiers  who  lived  on  farms  along  the  road." 


all  this  had  been  done  Cortes  went  on  board  the  flagship 
to  set  sail  with  all  the  fleet  for  Havana. 

It  appears  that  the  ships  of  the  Convoy  did  not  see  the 
flagship  in  which  Cortes  had  embarked,  for  it  was  night 
time  and  they  went  on  to  the  port  [of  Havana].  We  also 
arrived  by  land  at  the  town  of  Havana  with  Pedro  de 
Alvarado,  and  the  ship  in  which  Juan  de  Escalante  had 
come  along  the  north  coast  had  already  arrived,  and  all 
the  horses  which  had  been  sent  by  land,  but  Cortes  did 
not  appear,  and  no  one  knew  where  he  was  delayed. 
Five  days  passed  without  news  of  his  ship  and  we  began 
to  wonder  whether  he  had  been  lost  on  the  Jardinés^  ten 
or  twelve  miles  from  Havana  near  the  Isle  of  Pines  where 
there  are  many  shallows.  We  all  agfreed  that  three  of  the 
smaller  vessels  should  go  in  search  of  Cortes,  and  in  pre- 
paring the  vessels  and  in  debates  whether  this  or  the  other 
man — Pedro  or  Sancho — should  go,  two  more  days  went 
by  and  Cortes  did  not  appear.  Then  parties  began  to  be 
formed,  and  we  all  played  the  game  of  "  Who  shall  be 
Captain  until  Cortes  comes?"  And  the  man  who  took 
the  lead  in  this  was  Diego  de  Ordás,  as  the  chief  Mayor- 
domo  of  Velasquez,  who  had  been  sent  by  the  Governor 
merely  to  look  after  the  fleet  and  see  that  there  should  be 
no  mutiny. 

Let  us  leave  this  subject  and  return  to  Cortes  who,  as  I 
have  already  said,  had  embarked  on  the  largest  ship  of 
the  fleet,  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  Isle  of  Pines,  or 
near  the  JardineSy  where  there  are  many  shallows,  the  ship 
ran  aground  and  remained  there  hard  and  fast  and  could 
not  be  floated. 

Cortes  ordered  all  the  cargo  which  could  be  removed  to 
be  taken  ashore  in  the  boat,  for  there  was  land  near  by 
where  it  could  be  stored,  and  when  it  was  seen  that  the 
ship  was  floating  and  could  be  moved,  she  was  taken  into 
deeper  water  and  was  laden  again  with  the  cargo  which 

G  2 


had  been  taken  ashore,  sail  was  then  set  and  the  voyage 
continued  to  the  port  of  Havana. 

When  Cortes  arrived  nearly  all  of  us  gentlemen  and 
soldiers  who  were  awaiting  him  were  delighted  at  his 
coming,  all  except  some  who  had  hoped  to  be  Captains, 
for  the  game  of  choosing  captains  came  to  an  end. 

As  soon  as  we  had  lodged  Cortes  in  the  house  of  Pedro 
Barba,  who  was  the  lieutenant  of  Diego  Velasquez  in  that 
town,  he  ordered  the  standards  to  be  brought  out  and 
placed  in  front  of  the  buildings  in  which  he  was  lodged 
and  ordered  proclamation  to  be  made,  as  he  had  done 

From  the  Havana  there  came  the  Hidalgo  Francisco 
Montejo  very  often  mentioned  by  me,  who  after  the  con- 
quest of  Mexico  was  appointed  Governor  and  Adelantado 
of  Yucatan,  and  there  also  came  Diego  de  Soto  of  Toro 
who  was  Mayordomo  to  Cortes  in  Mexico,  and  a  certain 
Angulo  y  Garcicaro,  and  Sebastian  Rodriguez  and  a 
Pacheco  and  a  somebody  Gutierrez,  and  a  Rójas  (not 
Rójas  el  Rico)  and  a  youth  named  Santa  Clara,  and  two 
brothers  called  the  Martinez  del  Freginal,  and  a  Juan  de 
Najara  (I  don't  mean  the  deaf  one  who  played  Pelota^  in 
Mexico),  all  persons  of  quality,  not  counting  other  soldiers 
whose  names  I  cannot  remember. 

When  Cortes  beheld  all  these  Hidalgos  collected 
together  he  was  greatly  pleased.  He  sent  a  ship  to 
the  Cape  of  Guaniguanico,  to  an  Indian  town  there, 
where  they  made  Cassava  bread  and  kept  many  pigs,  to 
have  her  laden  with  salt  pork,  for  the  farm  belonged  to 
the  Governor  Diego  Velasquez,^  and  he  sent  Diego  de  Ordás 

'  A  ball  game. 

*  In  a  conversation  with  Las  Casas  in  the  year  1542,  Cortes, 
speaking  of  this  expedition,  laughingly  remarked,  "  A  mi  fé,  anduve 
por  alii  como  un  gentil  corsario."  "  By  my  faith  1  went  about  there 
like  an  excellent  robber."  (Las  Casas,  HisL  de  Indias,  Lib.  Ill, 
cap.  cxvi). 


who  was  the  chief  Mayordomo  of  the  property  of  Velasquez 
in  command  of  the  ship,  as  he  wished  to  get  him  out  of 
the  way,  for  he  knew  that  Diego  de  Ordás  did  not  show 
himself  to  be  very  well  disposed  towards  him  at  the  time 
when  his  ship  went  ashore  near  the  Isle  of  Pines  and  the 
question  arose  as  to  who  should  be  chosen  captain.  So  in 
order  to  avoid  disputes  with  him  he  sent  Diego  de  Ordás 
off  with  orders  that  after  freighting  the  ship  with  supplies 
of  food,  he  should  remain  at  the  port  of  Guaniguanico 
until  he  was  joined  by  the  other  ship  which  was  going 
along  the  north  coast,  and  then  that  the  two  should  sail 
together  for  Cozumel,  but  that  [in  case  of  any  change  of 
plans]  he  would  send  Indians  in  canoes  to  advise  him  what 
was  to  be  done. 

I  must  not  forget  to  say  that  Francisco  de  Montejo  and 
all  the  other  settlers  at  Havana  sent  on  board  great  stores 
of  Cassava  bread  and  salt  pork,  for  other  provisions  were 
not  to  be  had. 

Cortes  now  ordered  all  the  artillery,  which  consisted  of 
ten  brass  guns  and  some  falconets,  to  be  brought  out  of 
the  ships,  and  gave  them  in  charge  of  an  artilleryman 
named  Mesa,  and  of  a  levantine  named  Arbenga,  and  a 
certain  Juan  Catalan,  with  orders  to  have  them  thoroughly 
cleaned  and  tested,  and  to  see  that  the  balls  and  powder 
were  in  readiness,  and  he  gave  them  wine  and  vinegar  with 
which  to  clean  them.  He  gave  the  gunners  as  a  companion 
a  certain  Bartolomé  de  Usagre.  He  also  ordered  that  the 
crossbows  with  their  cords,  nuts,  and  other  necessaries 
should  be  overhauled,  and  that  they  should  be  tested  at  a 
target,  so  as  to  see  how  far  each  of  them  would  carry. 

As  in  the  country  round  Havana  there  is  much  cotton, 
we  made  well  padded  armour  for  ourselves,  which  is  most 
necessary  when  fighting  Indians,  on  account  of  the  great 
use  they  make  of  darts,  arrows  and  lances,  and  stones 
which  fall  on  one  like  hail 


It  was  here  in  Havana  that  Cortes  began  to  organize  a 
household  and  to  be  treated  as  a  Lord.  The  first  Marshal 
of  the  household/  whom  he  appointed  was  a  certain 
Guzman  who  soon  afterwards  died  or  was  killed  by  the 
Indians  (this  was  not  Cristobal  de  Guzman,  the  Mayordomo 
of  Cortes  who  took  Guatemoc*  prisoner  during  the  war  in 
Mexico)  and  he  had  as  camarer<^  Rodrigo  Ranguel,  and 
for  Mayordomo,  Juan  de  Cáceres  who  became  a  rich  man 
after  the  conquest  of  Mexico. 

When  all  this  was  settled  we  got  ready  to  embark  and 
the  horses  were  divided  among  all  the  ships,  and  mangers 
were  made  for  them  and  a  store  of  maize  and  hay  put  on 
board.  I  will  now  call  to  mind  all  the  mares  and  horses 
that  were  shipped  : — 

The  Captain  Cortes  : — A  vicious  dark   chestnut  horse, 
which  died  as  soon  as  we  arrived  at  San  Juan  de 
Pedro  de  Alvarado  and  Hernando  Lopez  de  Avila : — a 
very  good  sorrel  mare,  good  both  for  sport  and  as  a 
charger.     When  we  arrived  at  New  Spain  Pedro  de 
Alvarado  bought  the  other  half  share  in  the  mare 
or  took  it  by  force. 
Alonzo  Hernandez  Puertocarrero  : — a  grey  mare,  a  very 
good  charger  which  Cortes   bought   for  him  with 
his  gold  buttons. 
Juan  Velasquez  de  Leon : — A  very  powerful  gray  mare 
which  we  called  "  La  Rabona,'**  very  handy  and  a 
good  charger. 
Cristóval  de  Olid  : — a  dark  chestnut  horse,  fairly  good. 
Francisco  de  Montejo  and  Alonzo  de  Avila : — a  parched 
sorrel  horse,  no  use  for  warfare. 

^  Maestresala  =»  the  chief  waiter  in  a  nobleman's  household. 
'  Guatemuz  in  the  original. 
'  Camarero  =  chamberlain. 
^  La  Rabona  =  the  bob-tailed. 


Francisco  de  Morla : — a  dark  chestnut  horse,  very  fast 

and  very  easily  handled. 
Juan  de  Escalante : — a  light  chestnut  horse  with  three 

white  stockings,  not  much  good. 
Diego  de  Ordás,  a  gfray  mare,  barren,  tolerably  good, 

but  not  fast. 
Gonzalo  Dominguez  : — a  wonderfully  good   horseman  ; 

a  very  good  dark  chestnut  horse,  a  grand  galloper. 
Pedro  Gonzalez  de  Trujillo : — sl  good  chestnut  horse,  all 

chestnut,  a  very  good  goer. 
Moron,  a  settler  at  Bayamo: — a  dappled   horse  with 

stockings  on  the  forefeet,  very  handy. 
Baena :  a  settler  at  Trinidad  : — a  dappled  horse  almost 

black,  no  good  for  anything. 
Lares,  a  very  good  horseman  : — an  excellent  horse  of 

rather  light  chestnut  colour,  a  very  good  goer. 
Ortiz  the   musician   and  Bartolomé   Garcia,  who  once 

owned  gold  mines : — a  very  good  dark  horse  called 

"El  Arriero,"^  this  was  one  of  the  best  horses  carried 

in  the  fleet. 
Juan  Sedefto,  a  settler  at  Havana : — a  chestnut  mare 

which  foaled  on  board  ship. 

This  Juan  Sedefto  passed  for  the  richest  soldier  in  the 
fleet,  for  he  came  in  his  own  ship  with  the  mare,  and  a 
negro  and  a  store  of  cassava  bread  and  salt  pork,  and  at 
that  time  horses  and  negroes  were  worth  their  weight  in 
gold,  and  that  is  the  reason  why  more  horses  were  not 
taken,  for  there  were  none  to  be  bought.  I  will  leave  off" 
here  and  tell  what  next  happened  to  us,  when  we  were  just 
about  to  embark. 

*  Ei  arriero  =«  the  muleteer,  carrier. 

88  DIEGO  velAsquez  again  attempts 


How  Diego  Velasquez  sent  a  servant  named  Caspar  de  Gamica  with 
orders  and  instructions  that  in  any  case  Cortes  should  be  arrested 
and  the  fleet  taken  from  him,  and  what  was  done  about  it. 

To  make  my  story  clear,  I  must  go  back  and  relate  that 
when  Diego  Velasquez  knew  for  certain  that  his  lieutenant 
and  brother-in-law  Francisco  Verdugo  who  was  stationed 
at  the  town  of  Trinidad  not  only  refused  to  compel  Cortes 
to  leave  the  fleet,  but,  together  with  Diego  de  Ordás,  had 
helped  him  to  get  away,  they  say  that  he  was  so  angry 
that  he  roared  with  rage  and  told  his  secretary  Andres  de 
Duero  and  the  Treasurer  Amador  de  Lares  that  they  had 
deceived  him  by  the  agreement  they  had  made,  and  that 
Cortes  was  mutinous.  He  made  up  his  mind  to  send  a 
servant  with  letters  and  prders  to  Pedro  Barba,  his  lieu- 
tenant at  Havana,  and  wrote  very  graciously  to  all  his 
friends  who  were  settlers  in  that  town,  and  to  Diego  de 
Ordás  and  to  Juan  Velasquez  de  Leon  who  were  his  friends 
and  kinsmen  praying  them  neither  for  good  nor  ill  to  let 
the  fleet  get  away,  and  to  seize  Cortes  at  once  and  send 
him  under  a  strong  guard  to  Santiago  de  Cuba. 

On  the  arrival  of  Garnica  (that  was  the  name  of  the 
man  who  brought  the  letters  and  orders  to  Havana)  it  was 
known  at  once  what  he  had  brought  with  him,  for  by  the 
same  messenger  Cortes  was  advised  of  what  Velasquez  was 
doing.  It  happened  in  this  way ; — it  appears  that  a  friar 
of  the  Order  of  Mercy,  who  gave  himself  out  to  be  a 
follower  of  Velasquez,  was  in  the  Governor's  company  at 
the  time,  and  he  wrote  a  letter  to  another  friar  of  his  order 
named  Bartolomé  del  Olmedo,  who  was  with  us,  and  in 
that  letter,  written  by  the  friar,  Cortes  was  informed  by  his 
two  associates,  Andres  de  Duero  and  the  treasurer  of  all 
that  had  happened. 


To  go  back  to  my  story : — As  Cortes  had  sent  away 
Diego  de  Ordás  in  a  ship  to  collect  stores,  there  was  no 
one  to  oppose  him  except  Juan  Velasquez  de  Leon,  and  as 
soon  as  Cortes  spoke  to  him  he  brought  him  over  to  his 
side, — all  the  more  easily  because  Juan  Velasquez  was  put 
out  with  his  kinsman  for  not  giving  him  a  good  grant  of 

Not  one  of  the  others  to  whom  Diego  Velasquez  had 
written  favoured  his  proposal,  indeed  one  and  all  declared 
for  Cortes,  the  lieutenant  Pedro  Barba  above  all.  In 
addition  to  this  the  Alvarados,  Alonzo  Hernandez  Puerto- 
carrero,  Francisco  de  Montejo,  Cristóval  de  Olid,  Juan  de 
Escalante,  Andres  de  Monjaraz,  and  his  brother  Gregorio 
de  Monjaraz  and  all  of  us  would  have  given  our  lives  for 
Cortes.  So  that  if  in  the  Town  of  Trinidad  the  orders 
of  Velasquez  were  slighted,  in  the  town  of  Havana  they 
were  absolutely  ignored. 

By  this  same  Garnica,  the  lieutenant  Pedro  Barba  wrote 
to  Diego  Velasquez  that  he  did  not  dare  to  seize  Cortes 
as  he  was  too  strongly  supported  by  soldiers,  and  he  was 
afraid  lest  Cortes  should  sack  and  plunder  the  town  and 
carry  off  all  the  settlers  along  with 'him ;  that  from  all  that 
he  had  gathered  Cortes  was  the  Governor's  faithful  servant 
and  would  not  dare  to  be  anything  else.  Cortes  also  wrote 
to  Velasquez  in  the  agreeable  and  complimentary  terms 
which  he  knew  so  well  how  to  use,  and  told  him  that  he 
should  set  sail  next  day  and  that  he  remained  his  humble 



How  Cortes  set  sail  with  all  his  company  of  Gentlemen  and  soldiers 
for  the  Island  of  Cozumel  and  what  happened  there. 

There  was  to  be  no  parade  of  the  forces  until  we  arrived 
at  Cozumel.  Cortes  ordered  the  horses  to  be  taken  on 
board  ship^and  he  directed  Pedro  de  Alvarado  to  go  along 
the  North  coast  in  a  good  ship  named  the  San  Sebastian^ 
and  he  told  the  pilot  who  was  in  charge  to  wait  for  him  at 
Cape  San  Antonio  as  all  the  ship$  would  meet  there  and 
go  in  company  to  Cozumel.  He  also  sent  a  messenger  to 
Diego  de  Ordás,  who  had  gone  along  the  North  Coast 
to  collect  supplies  of  food  with  orders  to  do  the  same  and 
await  his  coming. 

On  the  loth  February  1519,  after  hearing  Mass,  they  set 
sail  along  the  south  coast  with  nine  ships  and  the  company 
of  gentlemen  and  soldiers  whom  I  have  mentioned,  so  that 
with  the  two  ships  absent  on  the  north  coast  there  were 
eleven  ships  in  all,  including  that  which  carried  Pedro  de 
Alvarado  with  seventy  soldiers  and  I  travelled  in  his 

The  Pilot  named  Camacho  who  was  in  charge  of  our 
ship  paid  no  attention  to  the  orders  of  Cortes  and  went 
his  own  way  and  we  arrived  at  Cozumel  two  days  before 
Cortes  and  anchored  in  the  port  which  I  have  often 
mentioned  when  telling  about  Grijalva's  expedition. 

Cortes  had  not  yet  arrived,  being  delayed  by  the  ship 
commanded  by  Francisco  de  Morla  having  lost  her  rudder 
in  bad  weather,  however  she  was  supplied  with  another 
rudder  by  one  of  the  ships  of  the  fleet,^  and  all  then  came 
on  in  company. 

^  Blotted  out  in  the  original  MS.  ''They  turned  back  looking 
for  the  rudder  in  the  sea  and  they  found  it  and  put  it  in  its  place,  so 
thaf  they  were  soon  able  to  navigate  the  ship."— G.  G. 

AT  C02UMEL.  9 1 

To  go  back  to  Pedro  de  Alvarado.  As  soon  as  we 
arrived  in  port  we  went  on  shore  with  all  the  soldiers 
to  the  town  of  Cozumel,  but  we  found  no  Indians  there 
as  they  had  all  fled.  So  we  were  ordered  to  go  on  to 
another  town  about  a  league  distant,  and  there  also  the 
natives  had  fled  and  taken  to  the  bush,  but  they  could  not 
carry  off  their  property  and  left  behind  their  poultry  and 
other  things  and  Pedro  de  Alvarado  ordered  forty  of  the 
fowls  to  be  taken.  In  an  Idol  house  there  were  some 
altar  ornaments  made  of  old  cloths  and  some  little  chests 
containing  diadems,  Idols,  beads  and  pendants  of  gold  of 
poor  quality,  and  here  we  captured  two  Indians  and  an 
Indian  woman,  and  we  returned  to  the  town  where  we 
had  disembarked. 

While  we  were  there  Cortes  arrived  with  all  the  fleet, 
and  after  taking  up  his  lodging  the  first  thing  he  did  was 
to  order  the  pilot  Camacho  to  be  put  in  irons  for  not 
having  waited  for  him  at  sea  as  he  had  been  ordered  to 
do.  When  he  saw  the  town  without  any  people  in  it,  and 
heard  that  Pedro  de  Alvarado  had  gone  to  the  other 
town  and  had  taken  fowls  and  cloths  and  other  things  of 
small  value  from  the  Idols,  and  some  gold  which  was  half 
copper,  he  showed  that  he  was  very  angry  both  at  that 
and  at  the  pilot  not  having  waited  for  him,  and  he  repri- 
manded Pedro  de  Alvarado  severely,  and  told  him  that 
we  should  never  pacify  the  country  in  that  way  by  robbing 
the  natives  of  their  property,  and  he  sent  for  the  two 
Indians  and  the  woman  whom  we  had  captured,  and 
through  Melchorejo,  (Julianillo  his  companion  was  dead) 
the  man  we  had  brought  from  Cape  Catoche  who  under- 
stood the  language  well,  he  spoke  to  them  telling  them  to 
go  and  summon  the  Caciques  and  Indians  of  their  town, 
and  he  told  them  not  to  be  afraid,  and  he  ordered  the 
gold  and  the  cloths  and  all  the  rest  to  be  given  back 
to  them,  and  for  the  fowls  (which  had  already  been  eaten) 


he  ordered  them  to  be  given  beads  and  little  bells,  and  in 
addition  he  gave  to  each  Indian  a  Spanish  shirt  So  they 
went  off  to  summon  the  lord  of  the  town,  and  the  next 
day  the  Cacique  and  all  his  people  arrived,  women  and 
children  and  all  the  inhabitants  of  the  town,  and  they 
went  about  among  us  as  though  they  had  been  used  to  us 
all  their  lives,  and  Cortes  ordered  us  not  to  annoy  them  in 
any  way.  Here  in  this  Island  Cortes  began  to  rule 
energetically,  and  Our  Lord  so  favoured  him  that  what- 
ever he  put  his  hand  to  it  turned  out  well  for  him, 
especially  in  pacifying  the  people  and  towns  of  these  lands, 
as  we  shall  see  further  on. 


How  Cortes  reviewed  all  his  army  and  what  else  happened 
to  us. 

When  we  had  been  in  Cozumel  three  days  Cortes 
ordered  a  muster  of  his  forces  so  as  to  see  how  many 
of  us  there  were,  and  he  found  that  we  numbered  five 
hundred  and  eight,  not  counting  the  shipmasters,  pilots 
and  sailors,  who  numbered  about  one  hundred.  There 
were  sixteen  horses  and  mares  all  fit  to  be  used  for  sport 
or  as  chargers. 

There  were  eleven  ships  both  great  and  small,  and  one 
a  sort  of  launch  which  a  certain  Gines  Nortes  brought 
laden  with  supplies. 

There  were  thirty  two  cross  bowmen  and  thirteen 
musketeers ; — escopeteros,  as  they  were  then  called  and 
^  brass  guns,  and  four  falconets,  and  much  powder  and 
ball.     About  the  number  of  cross  bowmen  my  memory 

1  Blotted  out  in  the  original  MS.  is  the  word  '*ten."— G.  G. 

HIS  ARMY  93 

does  not  serve  me  very  well,  but  it  is  not  material  to  my 

After  the  review  Cortes  ordered  Mesa  surnamed  "the 
gunner"  and  Bartolomé  de  Usagre  and  Arbenga  and  a 
certain  Catalan  who  were  all  artillerymen,  to  keep  their 
guns  clean  and  in  good  order,  and  the  ammunition  ready 
for  use.  He  appointed  Francisco  de  Orozco,  who  had  been 
a  soldier  in  Italy  to  be  captain  of  the  Artillery.  He  like- 
wise ordered  two  crossbowmen  named  Juan  Benitez  and 
Pedro  del  Guzman  the  crossbowman,  who  were  masters  of 
the  art  of  repairing  crossbows,  to  see  that  every  crossbow 
had  two  or  three  [spare]  nuts  and  cords  and  fore  cords  and 
to  be  careful  to  keep  them  stored  and  to  have  smoothing 
tools  and  inguijuelc^  and  [to  see]  that  the  men  should 
practice  at  a  target.  He  also  ordered  all  the  horses  to  be 
kept  in  good  condition. 

I  don't  know  why  I  should  expend  so  much  ink  in 
telling  about  these  preparations  of  arms  and  the  rest 
of  it,  for  in  truth  Cortes  was  most  vigilant  about  every- 


How  Cortes  came  to  know  that  the  Indians  of  Cape  Catoche  held  two 
Spaniards  in  captivity,  and  what  he  did  about  it. 

As  Cortes  was  most  diligent  in  all  matters,  he  sent  for 
me  and  a  Biscayan  named  Martin  Ramos,  and  asked  us 
what  we  thought  about  those  words  which  the  Indians  of 
Campeche  had  used  when  we  went  there  with  Francisco 
Hernandez  de  Cordova,  when  they  cried  out  "Castilan, 
Castilan'*  as  I  have  already  stated  in  the  chapter  which 
treats  of  that  expedition.  We  again  related  to  Cortes  all 
that  we  had  seen  and  heard  about  the  matter,  and  he  said 

*  Probably  some  technical  term  now  obsolete. 


that  he  also  had  often  thought  about  it,  and  that  perhaps 
there  might  be  some  Spaniards  living  in  the  country,  and 
added  "  It  seems  to  me  that  it  would  be  well  to  ask  these 
Caciques  of  Cozumel  if  they  know  anything  about  them." 
So  through  Melchorejo,  the  man  from  Cape  Catoche,  who 
already  understood  a  little  Spanish  and  knew  the  language 
of  Cozumel  very  well,  all  the  chiefs  were  questioned,  and 
every  one  of  them  said  that  they  had  known  of  certain 
Spaniards  and  gave  descriptions  of  them,  and  said  that 
some  Caciques,  who  lived  about  two  days'  journey  inland, 
/  ""  kept  them  as  slaves,  and  that  here  in  Cozumel  were  some 
[^  Indian  traders  who  spoke  to  them  only  a  few  days  ago. 
We  were  all  delighted  at  this  news,  and  Cortes  told  the 
Caciques  that  they  must  go  at  once  and  summon  the 
Spaniards,  taking  with  them  letters,  (which  in  the  Indian 
language  they  call  atnales)  and  he  gave  shirts  to  the 
Caciques  and  Indians  who  went  with  the  letters  and  spoke 
reassuringly  to  them,  and  told  them  that  when  they  returned 
he  would  give  them  some  more  beads.  The  Cacique 
advised  Cortes  to  send  a  ransom  to  the  owners  who  held 
these  men  as  slaves,  so  that  they  should  be  allowed  to 
come,  and  Cortes  did  so,  and  gave  to  the  messengers  all 
manner  of  beads.  Then  he  ordered  the  two  smallest 
vessels  to  be  got  ready  (one  of  them  was  little  larger  than 
a  launch)  and  twenty  men  with  guns  and  crossbows,  under 
• "  the  command  of  Diego  de  Ordás,  and  he  sent  them  off  to 
the  coast  near  Cape  Catoche  where  the  larger  vessel  was  to 
wait  for  eight  days  while  the  smaller  vessel  should  go  back- 
wards and  forwards  and  bring  news  of  what  was  being 
done,  for  the  land  of  Cape  Catoche  was  only  four  leagues 
distant,  and  the  one  country  could  be  seen  from  the  other. 
In  the  letter  Cortes  said : — "  Gentlemen  and  brothers, 
here  in  Cozumel  I  have  learnt  that  you  are  captives  in  the 
hands  of  a  Cacique,  and  I  pray  you  that  you  come  here  to 
Cozumel  at  once,  and  for  this  purpose  I  have  sent  a  ship 


with  soldiers,  in  case  you  have  need  of  them,  and  a  ransom 
to  be  paid  to  those  Indians  with  whom  you  are  living. 
The  ship  will  wait  eight  days  for  you.  Come  in  all  haste, 
and  you  will  be  welcomed  and  protected.  I  am  here  at 
this  Island  with  five  hundred  soldiers  and  eleven  ships,  in 
which  I  go  on,  please  God,  to  a  town  called  Tabasco  or 

The  two  vessels  were  soon  despatched  with  the  two 
Indian  traders  from  Cozumel  who  carried  the  letters,  and 
they  crossed  the  strait  in  three  hours  and  the  messengers 
with  the  letters  and  ransom  were  landed.  In  two  days 
the  letters  were  delivered  to  a  Spaniard  named  Jerónimo 
de  Aguilar,  for  that  we  found  to  be  his  name,  and  so 
I  shall  call  him  in  future.  When  he  had  read  the  letter 
and  received  the  ransom  of  beads  which  we  had  sent  to 
him  he  was  delighted,  and  carried  the  ransom  to  the 
Cacique  his  master,  and  begged  leave  to  depart,  and  the 
Cacique  at  once  gave  him  leave  to  go  wherever  he  pleased. 
Aguilar  set  out  for  the  place,  five  leagues  distant,  where 
his  companion  Gonzalo  Guerrero  was  living,  but  when  he 
read  the  letter  to  him  he  answered,  "  Brother  Aguilar,  I 
am  married  and  have  three  children  and  the  Indians  look 
on  me  as  a  Cacique  and  captain  in  wartime, — You  go  and 
God  be  with  you,  but  I  have  my  face  tatooed  and  my  ears 
pierced,  what  would  the  Spaniards  say  should  they  see  me 
in  this  guise  ?  and  look  how  handsome  these  boys  of  mine 
are,  for  God's  sake  give  me  those  green  beads  you  have 
brought  and  I  will  give  the  beads  to  them  and  say  that 
my  brothers  have  sent  them  from  my  own  country."  And 
the  Indian  wife  of  Gonzalo  spoke  to  Aguilar  in  her  own 
tongue  very  angrily  and  said  to  him,  "  What  is  this  slave 
coming  here  for  talking  to  my  husband, — go  off  with  you, 
and  don't  trouble  us  with  any  more  words." 

Then  Aguilar  reminded  Gonzalo  that  he  was  a  Christian 
and  said  that  he  should  not  imperil  his  soul  for  the  sake  of 




an  Indian  woman,  and  as  for  his  wife  and  children  he  could 
take  them  with  him  if  he  did  not  wish  to  desert  them 
But  by  no  words  or  admonishments  could  he  be  persuaded 
to  come.  It  appears  that  Gonzalo  Guerrero  was  a  sailor 
and  a  native  of  Palos. 

When  Jerónimo  de  Aguilar  saw  that  Gonzalo  would  not 
accompany  him   he  went   at  once,  with   the   two  Indian 
messengers,  to  the  place  where  the  ship  had  been  awaiting       ^ 
his  coming,  but  when  he  arrived  he  saw  no  ship  for  she  had       t. 
already  departed.     The  eight   days  during  which  Ordás        ^ 
had  been  ordered  to  await  and  one  day  more  had  already        ' 
expired,  and  seeing  that  Aguilar  had  not  arrived  Ordás        S 
returned  to  Cozumel  without  bringing  any  news  about  that 
for  which  he  had  come. 

When  Aguilar  saw  that  there  was  no  ship  there  he 
became  very  sad,  and  returned  to  his  master  and  to  the 
town  where  he  usually  lived. 

Now  I  will  leave  this  and  say  that  when  Cortes  saw 
Ordás  return  without  success  or  any  news  of  the  Spaniards 
or  Indian  messengers  he  was  very  angry,  and  said  haughtily 
to  Ordás  that  he  thought  that  he  would  have  done  better 
than  to  return  without  the  Spaniards  or  any  news  of  them, 
for  it  was  quite  clear  that  they  were  prisoners  in  that  r" 

At  that  moment  it  happened  that  some  sailors  called 
the  reflates,^  natives  of  Gibraleon,^  had  stolen  some  pieces 
of  salt  pork  from  a  soldier  named  Berrio  and  would  not 
return  them,  so  Berrio  complained  to  Cortes  and  the 
sailors  were  put  on  oath,  and  they  perjured  themselves, 
but  in  the  enquiry  the  fact  of  the  theft  was  proved,  and 
that  the  pork  had  been  divided  among  seven  sailors,  and 
Cortes  ordered  four  of  them  to  be  flogged,  in  spite  of  the 
appeals  of  some  of  the  Captains. 

^  Penates  —  rock  men.  '  Gibraltar. 

-     L.  A   BLACK   SERMON*--  97 

Here  I  must  leave  both  this  matter  of  the  sailors  and 
that  of  Aguilac,.  and  keep  the  story  of  "^ur  journey  up 
to  date  and  telí  how  many  Indians  both  the  natives  of  the 
towns  near 'Gape  Catoche  and  those  from  other  parts  of 
Yucatan  camcon  pilgrimages  to  thfc  Island  of  Cozumel,  for 
it  appeared  that  there  %veire  some  very,  hideous  idols  kept 
in  a  certim  oratory  on  Cozumel  toivliich  it  was  the  custom 
.  w|j  of  the  people  of  the  land  to  offer  sacrifices  at  that  season. 
One  morning  the  courtyard  of  the  oratory  where  the  Idols 
were  tept  was  crowded  with  Indians,  and  n:iany  of  them 
both  men  and  wunien  were  burning  a  resin  like  our  incense. 
J      /       As  this  was  a  n^  us  we  stood  round  watching  it 

I      '        with  attention,  diui  ^prt^^cntly  an  old   Indian  with  a  long 
cloak,  who  was  the  priest  of  A!tó^|^||^i§|jjj^Ihave  already 
Í      r       said  that  the  priests  in  New  Spain  arc  called/^hii^ent 
up  on  the  top  of  the  oratory  and  began  to  preach  to  tHe 
I  people.     Cortes  and  all  of  us  were  wondering  what  would 

be  the  result  of  that  black  sermon.  Cortes  asked  Mel- 
Í  chorejo,  who  understood  the  language  well,  what  the  old 

F  Indian  was  saying,  for  he  was  informed  that  he  was  preach- 

ing evil  things,  and  he  sent  for  the  Cacique  and  all  the 
p  principal  chiefs  and  the  priest  himself,  and,  as  well  as  he 

f  could   through   the  aid  of  our  interpreter,  he  told  them 

that  if  we  were  to  be  brothers  they  must  cast  those  most 
evil  Idols  out  of  their  temple,  for  they  were  not  gods  at  all 
f  but  very  evil  things  which  led  them  astray  and  could  lead 

I  their  souls  to  hell.    Then  he  spoke  to  them  about  good 

and  holy  things,  and  told  them  to  set  up  in  the  place  of 
^  ,v  their  Idols  an  image  of  Our  Lady  which  he  gave  them,  and 
t  -  a  cross,  which  would  always  aid  them  and  bring  good 
f  harvests  and  would  save  their  souls,  and  he  told  them  in  a 

very  excellent  way  other  things  about  our  holy  faith. 

The  Priest  and  the  Caciques  answered  that  their  fore- 
fathers had  worshipped  those  Idols  because  they  were 
good,  and  that  they  did  not  dare  to  do  otherwise,  and  that 





if  we  cast  out  their  Idols  we  would  see  how  much  harm  it 
would  do  us,  for  we  should  be  lost  at  sea.  Then  Cortes 
ordered  us  to  break  the  Idols  to  pieces  and  roll  them  down 
the  steps,^  and  this  we  did  ;  then  he  ordered  lime  to  be 
brought,  of  which  there  was  a  good  store  in  the  town,  and 
Indian  masons,  and  he  set  up  a  very  fair  altar  on  which 
we  placed  the  figure  of  Our  Lady ;  and  he  ordered  two 
of  our  party  named  Alonzo  Yánez  and  Alvaro  Lopez  who 
were  carpenters  and  joiners  to  make  a  cross  of  some  rough 
timber  which  was  there,  and  it  was  placed  in  a  small  chapel 
near  the  altar  and  the  priest  named  Juan  Diaz  said  mass 
there,  and  the  Cacique  and  the  heathen  priest  and  all  the 
Indians  stood  watching  us  with  attention. 

The  Caciques  in  this  Island  of  Cozumel  are  called 
Calachiones  as  I  have  already  said  when  telling  about  our 
doings  at  Potonchan.  Now  I  will  leave  off  here,  and  will 
go  on  to  tell  how  we  embarked  on  board  ship. 


How  Cortes  allotted  the  ships  and  appointed  captains  to  go  in  them, 
and  gave  instructions  to  the  pilots  and  arranged  lantern  signals 
for  the  night  time,  and  what  else  happened  to  us. 

Cortes  himself  took  command  of  the  flagship,  Pedro  de 
Alvarado  and  his  brothers  took  charge  of  the  San  Sebastian^ 
a  very  good  ship,  and  the  commands  of  the  other  ships 
were  given  to  Alonso  Hernandez  Puertocarrero,  Francisco 
de  Montejo,  who  had  a  good  ship,  Cristóval  de  Olid,  Diego 
de  Ordás,  Juan  Velasquez  de  Leon,  Juan  de  Escalante, 

1  In  the  "  Itinerary  of  Grijalva"  a  temple  or  oratory  of  the  Idols  is 
thus  described  : — "  It  was  eighteen  steps  (of  a  stairway)  in  height  and 
the  base  was  solid,  and  the  measurement  round  it  was  ona  hundred 
and  eighty  feet.  On  the  top  of  this  was  a  small  tower  the  height  of 
two  men  one  above  the  other  and  inside  were  certain  figures  and 
bones  and  Cents  which  are  the  Idols  which  they  worship." 


Francisco  de  Moria,  the  Page  Escobar,  and  the  smallest 
vessel  of  all,  a  launch,  was  commanded  by  Gines  Nortes. 
Each  ship  had  its  pilot;  Anton  de.Alaminos  was  Pilot 
in  Chief,  and  instructions  were  given  about  the  course  to 
be  steered  and  other  matters,  and  about  the  lantern  signals 
for  the  night  time. 

Cortes  took  leave  of  the  Caciques  and  priests  and  con- 
fided to  their  care  the  Image  of  Our  Lady  and  told  them 
to  reverence  the  cross  and  keep  it  clean  and  wreathed  with 
flowers  and  they  would  see  what  advantage  they  would 
gain  by  so  doing,  and  the  Indians  replied  that  they  would 
do  so,  and  they  brought  four  fowls  and  two  jars  of  honey 
and  they  embraced  him. 

We  embarked  and  set  sail  on  a  day  in  the  Month  of 
March  15 19,  and  went  on  our  way  in  fair  weather.  At  ten 
o'clock  that  same  morning  loud  shouts  were  given  from 
one  of  the  ships,  which  tried  to  lay  to,  and  fired  a  shot  so 
that  all  the  vessels  of  the  fleet  might  hear  it,  and  when 
Cortes  heard  this  he  at  once  checked  the  flagship  and 
seeing  the  ship  commanded  by  Juan  de  Escalante  bearing 
away  and  returning  towards  Cozumel,  he  cried  out  to  the 
other  ships  which  were  near  him  "What  is  the  matter? 
What  is  the  matter?**  And  a  soldier  named  Luis  de 
Zaragoza  answered  that  Juan  de  Escalante's  ship  with 
all  the  Cassava  bread  on  board  was  sinking,  and  Cortes 
cried,  "  Pray  God  that  we  suffer  no  such  disaster,"  and 
he  ordered  the  Pilot  Alaminos  to  make  signal  to  all  the 
other  ships  to  return  to  Cozumel.  So  this  same  day  we 
returned  to  the  port  whence  we  had  sailed,  and  sent  the 
Cassava  bread  on  shore,  and  we  found  the  image  of  Our 
Lady  and  the  Cross  well  cared  for  with  incense  burning  in 
front  of  it,  and  this  pleased  us  greatly.  The  Cacique  and 
priests  came  to  speak  to  Cortes  and  asked  why  we  had 
returned,  and  he  replied,  because  one  of  the  ships  was 
leaking  and  we  wished  to  caulk  her,  and  he  asked  them  to 

H  2 


come  in  their  canoes  and  help  the  ships  boats  to  bring  the 
Cassava  bread  on  shore,  and  this  they  did. 

We  were  four  days  repairing  the  ship.  Now  I  will  stop 
writing  about  this,  and  will  relate  how  the  Spaniard  named 
Aguilar  who  was  a  prisoner  among  the  Indians  heard 
of  our  return,  and  what  else  happened. 


How  the  Spaniard  named  Jerónimo  de  Aguilar,  who  was  a  prisoner 
among  the  Indians,  heard  that  we  had  returned  to  Cozumel  and 
came  to  us,  and  what  else  took  place. 

When  the  Spaniard  who  was  a  prisoner  among  the 
Indians,  knew  for  certain  that  we  had  returned  to  Cozumel 
with  the  ships,  he  was  very  joyful  and  gave  thanks  to  God, 
and  he  came  in  all  haste  with  the  two  Indians  who  had 
carried  the  letters  and  ransom,  and  embarked  in  a  canoe, 
and  as  he  was  able  to  pay  well  with  the  green  beads 
we  had  sent  him,  he  soon  hired  a  canoe  and  six  Indian 
rowers,  and  they  rowed  so  fast  that,  meeting  no  head  wind, 
in  a  very  short  time  they  crossed  the  strait  between  the 
two  shores,  which  is  a  distance  of  about  four  leagues. 

When  they  arrived  on  the  coast  of  Cozumel  and  were 
disembarking,  some  soldiers  who  had  gone  out  hunting 
(for  there  were  wild  pigs  on  the  island)  told  Cortes  that  a 
large  canoe,  which  had  come  from  the  direction  of  Cape 
Catoche,  had  arrived  near  the  town.  Cortes  sent  Andres 
de  Tápia  and  two  other  soldiers  to  go  and  see,  for  it  was  a 
new  thing  for  Indians  to  come  fearlessly  in  large  canoes 
into  our  neighbourhood.  So  they  set  out,  and  as  soon  as 
the  Indians  who  came  in  the  canoe  which  Aguilar  had 
hired  caught  sight  of  the  Spaniards,  they  were  frightened 
and  wished  to  get  back  into  the  canoe  and  flee  away. 
Aguilar  told  th^m  in  th^ir  own  language  not  to  be  afraid, 


that  these  men  were  his  brothers.  When  Andres  de  Tápia 
saw  that  they  were  only  Indians  (for  Aguilar  looked 
neither  more  nor  less  than  an  Indian),  he  at  once  sent 
word  to  Cortes  by  a  Spaniard  that  they  were  Cozumel 
Indians  who  had  come  in  the  canoe.  As  soon  as  the  men 
had  landed,  the  Spaniard  in  words  badly  articulated  and 
worse  pronounced,  cried  Dios  y  Santa  Maria  de  Sevilla^ 
and  Tápia  went  at  once  to  embrace  him.  The  other 
soldier  who  had  accompanied  Tápia  when  he  saw  what 
had  happened,  promptly  ran  to  Cortes  to  beg  a  reward  for 
the  good  news,  for  it  was  a  Spaniard  who  had  come  in  the 
canoe,  and  we  were  all  delighted  when  we  heard  it 

Tápia  soon  brought  the  Spaniard  to  Cortes,  but  before 
he  arrived  where  Cortes  was  standing,  several  Spaniards 
asked  Tápia  where  the  Spaniard  was?  although  he  was 
walking  by  his  side,  for  they  could  not  distinguish  him 
from  an  Indian  as  he  was  naturally  brown  and  he  had  his 
hair  shorn  like  an  Indian  slave,  and  carried  a  paddle  on 
his  shoulder,  he  was  shod  with  one  old  sandal  and  the 
other  was  tied  to  his  belt,  he  had  on  a  ragged  old  cloak, 
and  a  worse  loin  cloth  with  which  he  covered  his  naked- 
ness, and  he  had  tied  up,  in  a  bundle  in  his  cloak,  a  Book  of 
Hours,  old  and  worn.  When  Cortes  saw  him  in  this  state, 
he  too  was  deceived  like  the  other  soldiers,  and  asked 
Tápia  "  Where  is  the  Spaniard  ?"  On  hearing  this,  the 
Spaniard  squatted  down  on  his  haunches  as  the  Indians 
do  and  said  "  I  am  he."  Cortes  at  once  ordered  him  to  be 
given  a  shirt  and  doublet  and  drawers  and  a  cape  and 
sandals,  for  he  had  no  other  clothes,  and  asked  him  about, 
himself  and  what  his  name  was  and  when  he  came  to  this 
country.  The  man  replied,  pronouncing  with  difficulty, 
that  he  was  called  Jerónimo  de  Aguilar,  a  native  of  Ecija, 
and  that  he  had  taken  holy  orders,  that  eight  years  had 
passed  since  he  and  fifteen  other  men  and  two  women  left 
Darien  for  the  Island  of  Santo  Domingo,  where  he  had 


some  disputes  and  a  law-suit  with  a  certain  Enciso  y 
Valdivia,  and  he  said  that  they  were  carrying  ten  thousand 
gold  dollars  and  the  legal  documents  of  the  case,  and  that 
the  ship  in  which  they  sailed,  struck  on  the  Alacranes  so 
that  she  could  not  be  floated,  and  that  he  and  his  com- 
panions and  the  two  women  got  into  the  ship's  boat, 
thinking  to  reach  the  Island  of  Cuba  or  Jamaica,  but  that 
the  currents  were  very  strong  and  carried  them  to  this 
land,  and  that  the  Calachiones  of  that  district  had  divided 
them  among  themselves,  and  that  many  of  his  companions 
had  been  sacrificed  to  the  Idols,  and  that  others  had  died 
of  disease,  and  the  women  had  died  of  overwork  only  a 
short  time  before,  for  they  had  been  made  to  grind  corn  ; 
that  the  Indians  had  intended  him  for  a  sacrifice,  but  that 
one  night  he  escaped  and  fled  to  the  Cacique  with  whom 
since  then  he  had  been  living  (I  don't  remember  the  name 
that  he  gave)  and  that  none  were  left  of  all  his  party  except 
himself  and  a  certain  Gonzalo  Guerrero,  whom  he  had  gone 
to  summon,  but  he  would  not  come. 

When  Cortes  heard  all  this,  he  gave  thanks  to  God, 
and  said  that  he  would  have  him  well  looked  after  and 
rewarded.  He  questioned  Aguilar  about  the  country  and 
the  towns,  but  Aguilar  replied  that  having  been  a  slave, 
he  knew  only  about  hewing  wood  and  drawing  water  and 
digging  in  the  fields,  that  he  had  only  once  travelled  as  far 
as  four  leagues  from  home  when  he  was  sent  with  a  load, 
but,  as  it  was  heavier  than  he  could  carry,  he  fell  ill,  but 
that  he  understood  that  there  were  very  many  towns. 
When  questioned  about  Gonzalo  Guerrero,  he  said  that  he 
was  married  and  had  three  sons,  and  that  his  face  was 
tattooed  and  his  ears  and  lower  lip  were  pierced,  that  he 
was  a  seaman  and  a  native  of  Palos,  and  that  the  Indians 
considered  him  to  be  very  valiant ;  that  when  a  little  more 
than  a  year  s^o  a  captain  and  three  vessels  arrived  at 
Cape  Catoche,  (it  seems  probable  that  this  was  when  we 


came  with  Francisco  Hernandez  de  Cordova)  it  was  at  the 
suggestion  of  Guerrero  that  the  Indians  attacked  them, 
and  that  he  was  there  himself  in  the  company  of  the 
Cacique  of  the  large  town,  whom  I  have  spoken  about 
when  describing  the  expedition  of  Francisco  Hernandez 
de  Cordova.  When  Cortes  heard  this  he  exclaimed  "  I 
wish  I  had  him  in  my  hands  for  it  will  never  do  to  leave 
him  here." 

When  the  Caciques  of  Cozumel  found  out  that  Aguilar 
could  speak  their  language,  they  gave  him  to  eat  of  their 
best,  and  Aguilar  advised  them  always  to  respect  and 
revere  the  holy  image  of  Our  Lady  and  the  Cross,  for  they 
would  find  that  it  would  benefit  them  greatly. 

On  the  advice  of  Aguilar  the  Caciques  asked  Cortes  to 
give  them  a  letter  of  recommendation,  so  that  if  any  other 
Spaniards  came  to  that  port  they  would  treat  the  Indians 
well  and  do  them  no  harm,  and  this  letter  was  given  to 
them.  After  bidding  the  people  good-bye  with  many 
caresses  and  promises  we  set  sail  for  the  Rio  de  Gri- 

This  is  the  true  story  of  Aguilar,  and  not  the  other 
which  the  historian  Gómara  has  written ;  however,  I  am 
not  surprised  that  what  he  says  is  news  to  me.  Now  I 
must  go  on  with  my  story. 


How  we  again  embarked  and  made  sail  for  the  Rio  de  Grijalva, 
and  what  happened  to  us  on  the  voyage. 

On  the  4th  March  1519,  with  the  good  fortune  to  carry 
such  a  useful  and  faithful  interpreter  along  with  us,  Cortes 
gave  orders  for  us  to  embark  in  the  same  order  as  we 


had  followed  before  we  ran  back  to  Cozumel,  under  the 
same  instructions  and  with  the  same  lantern  signals  by 

We  sailed  along  in  good  weather,  until  at  nightfall  a 
head  wind  struck  us  so  fiercely  that  the  ships  were  dis- 
persed and  there  was  great  danger  of  being  driven  ashore. 
Thank  God,  by  midnight  the  weather  moderated,  and  as 
soon  as  dawn  broke  the  ships  got  together  again, 
excepting  the  vessel  under  the  command  of  Juan 
Velasquez  de  Leon.  We  went  on  our  way  and  up  to 
midday  had  seen  nothing  of  the  missing  vessel  which 
distressed  us  all  as  we  feared  she  had  been  lost  on  a 
shoal.  When  the  whole  day  had  passed  and  she  did 
not  appear  Cortes  told  the  pilot  Alaminos  that  it  was 
no  good  going  on  any  further  without  news  of  the  missing 
ship,  so  the  pilot  made  signal  for  all  the  vessels  to  lay  to, 
and  wait  to  see  if  by  chance  the  storm  had  driven  her  into 
some  bay  whence  she  could  not  get  out  again  against  a 
head  wind.  However,  when  she  still  failed  to  appear,  the 
pilot  said  to  Cortes,  "  Sir,  I  feel  certain  that  she  put  into  a 
sort  of  port  or  bay  which  we  have  already  passed,  and 
that  a  head  wind  keeps  her  there,  for  the  pilot  on  board 
of  her  is  Juan  Alvarez  el  Manquillo  who  was  with  Fran- 
cisco Hernandez  de  Cordova  and  again  with  Grijalva  and 
he  knows  that  port."  So  it  was  agreed  that  the  whole 
fleet  should  go  back  and  search  for  the  missing  ship,  and 
we  found  her  at  anchor  in  the  bay  of  which  the  pilot  had 
spoken,  which  was  a  great  relief  to  us  all.  We  stayed  in 
that  bay  for  a  day  and  we  lowered  two  boats  and  the 
pilot  and  a  Captain  called  Francisco  de  Lugo  went  on 
shore  and  found  farms  and  maize  plantations,  and  some 
places  where  the  Indians  made  salt,  and  there  were  four 
Cues  which  are  the  houses  of  their  Idols,  and  there  were 
many  Idols  in   them,  nearly  all  of  them  figures  of  tall 

UNIVEP^'T^'    * 


women  so  that  we  called  that  place  the  Punta  de  las 

I  remember  that  Aguilar  said  that  the  town  where  he 
was  held  in  slavery  was  near  these  farms  and  that  he  had 
come  there  with  a  load,  and  his  master  had  taken  him 
there,  and  that  he  fell  ill  on  account  of  the  weight  of  the 
load,  and  he  said  that  the  town  where  Gonzalo  Guerrero 
lived  was  not  far  off,  and  that  there  was  some  gold  in  all 
the  towns,  but  it  did  not  amount  to  much;  that  if  we  liked 
he  would  guide  us  to  the  towns,  and  advised  us  to  go 
there.  Cortes  replied,  laughing,  that  we  were  not  after 
such  small  game,  but  to  serve  God  and  the  King. 

Soon  afterwards  Cortes  ordered  a  Captain  named 
Escobar  to  go  in  the  vessel  under  his  command,  which 
was  a  fast  sailer  and  drew  little  water,  to  the  Boca  de 
Términos  and  to  examine  the  place  thoroughly  and  find 
out  if  it  would  be  a  good  port  for  a  settlement,  and  if 
game  were  plentiful  there  as  he  had  been  told  it  was. 
That  after  he  had  examined  the  place  he  should  put  up 
some  sign  and  break  down  some  trees  at  the  mouth  of  the 
harbour,  or  that  he  should  write  a  letter  and  place  it  where 
we  could  see  it  from  either  side  of  the  harbour,  so  that  we 
should  know  that  he  had  gone  in  there;  or  that,  after 
examining  the  port  he  should  beat  up  to  windward  and 
await  the  fleet  at  sea.      This  order   was  given   on   the 

*  Punta  de  las  Mugeres  =»  the  cape  of  the  women.  The  Island 
which  forms  the  bay  is  still  called  Isla  de  las  Mugeres.  Bemal  Diaz 
says  nothing  about  this  locality  in  his  description  of  the  two  earlier 
voyages,  but  the  author  of  the  Itinerario  says  that  Grijalva  observed 
it,  after  leaving  Cozumel : — "  We  made  sail  and  went  towards  the 
Island  of  Yucatan  along  the  North  Coast,  and  as  we  coasted  along  we 
came  to  a  beautiful  tower  on  a  point,  which  is  said  to  be  inhabited 
by  women  who  live  without  men.  One  might  believe  them  to  be  a 
race  of  Amazons.''  As  Grijalva  could  not  possibly  have  had  any 
information  on  the  subject,  it  seems  to  show  that  the  Itinerario 
was  written  at  a  later  date  than  is  usually  assigned  to  it,  and  gave 
this  explanation  to  account  for  the  name  given  to  the  locality  by 


advice  of  the  pilot,  so  that  when  we  arrived  at  the  Boca 
de  Términos  with  the  fleet  we  should  not  be  delayed  by 
going  into  port. 

So  Escobar  left  us  and  went  to  the  Puerte  de  Términos 
and  did  all  that  he  was  told  to  do,  and  he  found  the 
lurcher  which  had  been  left  there  in  Grijalva's  time,  and 
she  was  fat  and  sleek.  Escobar  said  that  when  the 
lurcher  saw  the  ship  come  into  port  she  wagged  her 
tail  and  showed  other  signs  of  delight,  and  came  at 
once  to  the  soldiers  and  went  with  them  on  board  the 

After  carrying  out  his  orders  Escobar  put  to  sea  again 
and  awaited  the  fleet,  and  it  appears  that  with  the  south 
wind  that  was  blowing  he  was  not  able  to  lay  to  but  was 
driven  out  to  sea. 

To  go  back  to  our  fleet ;  we  remained  at  the  Punta  de 
las  Mugeres  until  the  next  day  when  we  put  to  sea  with  a 
good  breeze  ofi*  the  land  and  went  on  until  we  arrived  at 
the  Boca  de  Términos,  but,  as  we  did  not  meet  Escobar, 
Cortes  ordered  a  boat  to  be  lowered,  and  with  ten  cross- 
bowmen  went  to  look  for  him  in  the  Boca  de  Términos,  or 
to  see  if  there  was  any  signal  or  letter.  They  soon  found 
trees  that  had  been  cut  down,  and  a  letter  in  which 
Escobar  said  that  the  harbour  was  a  good  one,  that  the 
land  was  fertile,  and  that  there  was  an  abundance  of 
game,  and  he  told  about  the  lurcher.  However,  the 
pilot  Alaminos  told  Cortes  that  we  had  better  keep  on 
our  course,  for  with  the  wind  from  the  south  Escobar  • 
must  have  been  driven  out  to  sea,  but  that  he  would  not 
be  far  off"  as  he  would  lie  close  to  the  wind.  But  Cortes 
was  anxious  lest  some  accident  had  befallen  him,  so  he 
ordered  the  sheets  to  be  slacked  away  and  we  soon  came 
up  to  Escobar  who  made  his  report  to  Cortes  and  told 
him  why  he  could  not  await  his  coming. 

While  this  was  taking  place  we  arrived  near  Potonchan 


[Chanpoton]  and  Cortes  ordered  the  Pilot  to  drop  anchor 
in  the  bay,  but  the  Pilot  replied  that  it  was  a  bad  port,  for 
the  tide  ran  out  so  far  that  the  ships  had  to  be  brought 
up  more  than  two  leagues  from  the  shore.  Cortes  had  a 
mind  to  give  the  Indians  a  lesson  on  account  of  the 
defeat  they  had  inflicted  on  Francisco  Hernandez  de 
Cordova  and  Grijalva,  and  many  of  us  soldiers  who  had 
been  in  those  battles  begged  him  to  go  in,  and  not  to 
leave  without  giving  the  Indians  a  good  chastisement, 
even  if  it  did  detain  us  two  or  three  days.  But  the  Pilot 
Alaminos  and  the  other  pilots  contended  that  if  we  should 
go  in  it  might,  with  a  head  wind,  be  eight  days  before  we 
could  get  out  again ;  that  we  had  a  fair  wind  now  for 
Tabasco  and  could  get  there  in  two  days.  So  we  passed 
on  and  after  three  days  sail  arrived  at  the  Rio  de  Grijalva 
called  in  the  Indian  langfuage  the  Tabasco  River,  and 
what  happened  to  us  there  and  the  attack  that  was  made 
on  us  I  will  go  on  to  relate. 


How  we  arrived  at  the  Rio  de  Grijalva,  which  in  the  language  of 
the  Indians  is  called  Tabasco,  of  the  attack  the  Indians  made 
on  us,  and  what  else  happened  to  us  with  them. 

On  the  12th  March,  15 19,  we  arrived  with  all  the  fleet 
at  the  Rio  de  Grijalva,  which  is  also  called  Tabasco,  and 
as  we  already  knew  from  our  experience  with  Grijalva 
that  vessels  of  large  size  could  not  enter  into  the  river, 
the  larger  vessels  were  anchored  out  at  sea,  and  from  the 
smaller  vessels  and  boats  all  the  soldiers  were  landed  at 
the  Cape  of  the  Palms  (as  they  were  in  Grijalva's  time) 
which  was  about  half  a  league  distant  from  the  town  of 


Tabasco.*  The  river,  the  river  banks  and  the  mangrove 
thickets  were  swarming  with  Indians,  at  which  those  of 
us  who  had  not  been  here  in  Grijalva's  time  were  much 

In  addition  to  this  there  were  assembled  in  the  town 
more  than  twelve  thousand  warriors*  all  prepared  to  make 
war  on  us,  for  at  this  time  the  town  was  of  considerable 
importance  and  other  large  towns  were  subject  to  it 
and  they  had  all  made  preparation  for  war  and  were 
well  supplied  with  the  arms  which  they  are  accustomed 
to  use. 

The  reason  for  this  was  that  the  people  of  Potonchan' 
and  Lázaro  and  the  other  towns  in  that  neighbourhood 
had  looked  upon  the  people  of  Tabasco  as  cowards,  and 
had  told  them  so  to  their  faces,  because  they  had  given 

^  The  large  town  which  the  author  here  calls  Tabasco  appears 
originally  to  have  been  called  Potonchan  ;  it  was  renamed  by  the 
Spaniards  Santa  Maria  de  la  Victoria ;  it  was  later  on  called  Tabasco, 
and  it  soon  fell  into  ruin  and  disappeared  altogether,  its  place  as 
a  port  being  taken  by  Frontera  on  the  other  side  of  the  river. 
In  the  Relacion  de  la  Villa  de  Santa  Maria  de  la  Victoria^  1579 
{Relaciones de  Yucatan^  vol.  ii,  p.  341),  we  find :  "This  river  and  port  is 
at  18"  30'  (N.  Lat.),  where  this  town  was  established  about  a  league 
from  the  mouth  of  the  river  on  2iplacel*  of  water  which  is  formed  on 
the  north  side,  and  on  a  branch  of  the  river  which  leads  to  a  town 
called  Taxagual,  of  fifteen  households  i^vecinos)  more  or  less,  which  is 
three  leagues  from  this  town  and  one  league  away  from  the  river.  The 
land  of  this  town  [Santa  Maria]  is  sterile  because  it  is  built  on  sand 
and  swamps.  This  branch  of  the  river  turns  to  the  south-west,  andcj, 
into  it  enter  swamps  and  lagoons,  and  it  has  many  diqp  places ' 
{bajos).  The  barques  and  frigates  anchor  in  this  branch  of  the  river 
when  they  come  to  this  town  to  load  or  unload  at  the  foot  of  the  Cross 
which  is  at  the  end  of  the  street  and  the  mound  on  which  it  stands." 
See  also  Note  to  Chapter  III.  In  the  American  Antiquarian  for 
September,  1896,  Dr.  Daniel  Brinton  published  an  article  on  "The 
Battle  and  the  Ruins  of  Cintla,"  taken  principally  from  notes  made 
by  the  late  Dr.  C.  H.  Berendt,  who  visited  and  surveyed  the  ruins  in 
March  and  April,  1869. 

*  Blotted  out  in  the  original :  "  twenty  eight  thousand." 

'  Chanpoton. 

*  "  Sobre  un  placel  de  Agua  que  se  hace  de  la  parte  del  Norte" = on 
a  sandbank  which  has  formed  to  the  north  of  the  water  (?). 


Grijalva  the  gold  jewels  which  I  have  spoken  about  in 
an  earlier  chapter,  and  they  said  that  they  were  too 
faint  hearted  to  attack  us  although  they  had  more  towns 
and  more  warriors  than  the  people  of  Potonchan  and 
Lázaro.  This  they  said  to  annoy  them  and  added  that 
they  in  their  towns  had  attacked  us  and  killed  fifty  six  of 
us.  So  on  account  of  these  taunts  which  had  been 
uttered,  the  people  of  Tabasco  had  determined  to  take 
up  arms. 

When  Cortes  saw  them  drawn  up  ready  for  war  he 
told  Aguilar  the  interpreter,  who  spoke  the  language  of 
Tabasco  well,^  to  ask  the  Indians  who  passed  near  us, 
in  a  large  canoe  and  who  looked  like  chiefs,  what  they 
were  so  much  disturbed  about,  and  to  tell  them  that 
we  had  not  come  to  do  them  any  harm,  but  were  willing 
to  give  them  some  of  the  things  we  had  brought  with 
us  and  to  treat  them  like  brothers,  and  we  prayed  them 
not  to  begin  a  war  as  they  would  regret  it,  and  much 
else  was  said  to  them  about  keeping  the  peace.  How- 
ever, the  more  Aguilar  talked  to  them  the  more  violent 
they  became,  and  they  said  that  they  would  kill  us  all 
if  we  entered  their  town,  and  that  it  was  fortified  all 
round  with  fences  and  barricades  of  large  trunks  of  trees. 

Aguilar  spoke  to  them  again  and  asked  them  to  keep 
the  peace,  and  allow  us  to  take  water  and  barter  our 
goods  with  them  for  food,  and  permit  us  to  tell  the 
Calachones*  things  which  would  be  to  their  advantage 
and  to  the  service  of  God  our  Lord,  but  they  still  per- 
sisted in  saying  that  if  we  advanced  beyond  the  palm 
trees  they  would  kill  us. 

When  Cortes  saw  the  state  of  affairs  he  ordered  the 

*  These  people  were  Tzendals,  a  branch  of  the  Maya  stock,  and 
Aguilar,  who  spoke  Maya,  could  understand  and  speak  to  them. 

'  Calachiones? 


boats  and  small  vessels  to  be  got  ready  and  ordered  three 
cannon  to  be  placed  in  each  boat  and  divided  the  cross- 
bowmen  and  musketeers  among  the  boats.  We  remem- 
bered that  when  we  were  here  with  Grijalva  we  had  found 
a  narrow  path  which  ran  across  some  streams  from  the 
palm  grove  to  the  town,  and  Cortes  ordered  three  soldiers 
to  find  out  in  the  night  if  that  path  ran  right  up  to  the 
houses,  and  not  to  delay  in  bringing  the  news,  and  these 
men  found  out  that  it  did  lead  there.  After  making  a 
thorough  examination  of  our  surroundings  the  rest  of  the 
day  was  spent  in  arranging  how  and  in  what  order  we 
were  to  go  in  the  boats. 

The  next  morning  we  had  our  arms  in  readiness  and 
after  hearing  mass  Cortes  ordered  the  Captain  Alonzo  de 
Avila  and  a  hundred  soldiers  among  whom  were  ten 
crossbowmen,  to  go  by  the  little  path  which  led  to  the 
town,  and,  as  soon  as  he  heard  the  guns  fired,  to  attack 
the  town  on  one  side  while  he  attacked  it  on  the  other. 
Cortes  himself  and  all  the  other  Captains  and  soldiers 
went  in  the  boats  and  light  draft  vessels  up  the  river. 
When  the  Indian  warriors  who  were  on  the  banks  and 
among  the  mangroves  saw  that  we  were  really  on  the 
move,  they  came  after  us  with  a  great  many  canoes  with 
intent  to  prevent  our  going  ashore  at  the  landing  place, 
and  the  whole  river  bank  appeared  to  be  covered  with 
Indian  warriors  carrying  all  the  diíTerent  arms  which 
they  use,  and  blowing  trumpets  and  shells  and  sounding 
drums.  When  Cortes  saw  how  matters  stood  he  ordered 
us  to  wait  a  little  and  not  to  fire  any  shots  from  guns 
or  crossbows  or  cannon,  for  as  he  wished  to  be  justified 
in  all  that  he  might  do  he  made  another  appeal  to  the 
Indians  through  the  interpreter  Aguilar,  in  the  presence 
of  the  King's  Notary,  Diego  de  Godoy,  asking  the  Indians 
to  allow  us  to  land  and  take  water  and  speak  to  them 
about  God  and  about  His  Majesty,  and  adding  that  should 


they  make  war  on  us,  that  if  in  defending  ourselves  some 
should  be  killed  and  others  hurt,  theirs  would  be  the  fault 
and  the  burden  and  it  would  not  lie  with  us,  but  they 
went  on  threatening  that  if  we  landed  they  would  kill  us. 

Then  they  boldly  began  to  let  fly  arrows  at  us,  and 
made  signals  with  their  drums,  and  like  valiant  men  they 
surrounded  us  with  their  canoes,  and  they  all  attacked  us 
with  such  a  shower  of  arrows  that  they  kept  us  in  the 
water  in  some  parts  up  to  our  waists.  As  there  was  much 
mud  and  swamp  at  that  place  we  could  not  easily  get 
clear  of  it,  and  so  many  Indians  fell  on  us,  that  what 
with  some  hurling  their  lances  with  all  their  might  and 
others  shooting  arrows  at  us,  we  could  not  reach  the  land 
as  .soon  as  we  wished. 

While  Cortes  was  fighting  he  lost  a  shoe  in  the  mud  and 
could  not  find  it  again,  and  he  got  on  shore  with  one  foot 
bare.     Presently  someone  picked  the  shoe  out  of  the  mud  1/ 
and  he  put  it  on  again. 

While  this  was  happening  to  Cortes,  all  of  us  Captains 
as  well  as  soldiers,  with  the  cry  of  "  Santiago,"  fell  upon 
the  Indians  and  forced  them  to  retreat,  but  they  did  not  fall 
back  far,  as  they  sheltered  themselves  behind  great  barriers 
and  stockades  formed  of  thick  logs  until  we  pulled  them 
apart  and  got  to  one  of  the  small  gateways  of  the  town. 
There  we  attacked  them  again,  and  we  pushed  them  along 
through  a  street  to  where  other  defences  had  been  erected, 
and  there  they  turned  on  us  and  met  us  face  to  face  and 
fought  most  valiantly,  making  the  greatest  efforts,  shouting 
and  whistling  and  crying  out  "  al  calacheoni ",  "  al  cala- 
cheoni ",  which  in  their  language  meant  an  order  to  kill  or 
capture  our  Captain.  While  we  were  thus  surrounded  by 
them  Alonzo  de  Avila  and  his  soldiers  came  up. 

As  I  have  already  said  they  came  from  the  Palm  grove 
by  land  and  could  not  arrive  sooner  on  account  of  the 
swamps  and  creeks.     Their  delay  was  really  unavoidable. 


just  as  we  also  had  been  delayed  over  the  summons  of  the 
Indians  to  surrender,  and  in  breaking  openings  in  the 
barricades,  so  as  to  enable  us  to  attack  them.  Now  we  all 
joined  together  to  drive  the  enemy  out  of  their  strong- 
holds, and  we  compelled  them  to  retreat,  but  like  brave 
warriors  they  kept  on  shooting  showers  of  arrows  and 
fire-hardened  darts,  and  never  turned  their  backs  on  us 
until  [we  gained]  a  great  court  with  chambers  and  large 
halls,  and  three  Idol  houses,  where  they  had  already 
carried  all  the  goods  they  possessed.  Cortes  then  ordered 
us  to  halt,  and  not  to  follow  on  and  overtake  the  enemy  in 
their  flight 

There  and  then  Cortes  took  possession  of  that  land  for 
His  Majesty,  performing  the  act  in  His  Majesty's  name. 
It  was  done  in  this  way  ;  he  drew  his  sword  and  as  a  sign 
of  possession  h^  made  three  cuts  in  a  huge  tree  called  a 
Ceiba^  which  stood  in  the  court  of  that  great  square,  and 
cried  that  if  any  person  should  raise  objection,  that  he 
would  defend  the  right  with  the  sword  and  shield  which 
he  held  in  his  hands. 

All  of  us  soldiers  who  were  present  when  this  happened 
cried  out  that  he  did  right  in  taking  possession  of  the  land 
in  His  Majesty's  name,  and  that  we  would  aid  him  should 
any  person  say  otherwise.  This  act  was  done  in  the 
presence  of  the  Royal  Notary.  The  partizans  of  Diego 
Velasquez  'chose  to  grumble  at   this  act  of  taking  pos- 



I  call  to  mind  that  in  that  hard  fought  attack  which  the 
Indians  made  on  us,  they  wounded  fourteen  soldiers,  and 

^  This  was  the  first  overt  act  showing  the  intenlion  of  Cortes  to  free 
himself  from  the  control  of  Velasquez  and  place  himself  directly  under 
the  protection  of  his  sovereign,  a  policy  which  was  consummated  a 
few  weeks  later  on  the  sands  at  Vera  Cruz.  Had  Cortes  intended  to 
continue  his  subservience  to  Diego  Velásques,  his  name  would  have 
been  used  in  the  formal  act  of  taking  possession  as  ii  had  been  used 
in  the  proclamations  made  by  Cortes  in  Cuba. 


they  gave  me  an  arrow  wound  in  the  thigh,  but  it  was  only 
a  slight  wound;  and  we  found  eighteen  Indians  dead  in 
the  water  where  we  disembarked. 

We  slept  there  [in  thp  great  square]  that  night  with 
guards  and  sentinels  on  the  alert.  I  will  stop  here  and  go 
on  to  tell  what  more  happened. 

Note.— The  Carta  de  Vera  Cruz  says  that  the  Indians  then  sent 
a  deputation  and  a  small  present  to  Cortes,  but  still  insisted  that  the 
Spaniards  should  leave  the  country.  Cortes  demanded  food  for  his 
men,  and  the  Indians  promised  to  send  it.  Cortes  then  waited  for  two 
days,  and  as  no  Indians  with  food  made  their  appearance  he  sent  out 
the  foraging  expeditions  described  in  the  following  Chapter. 


How  Cortes  ordered  two  of  his  Captains  each  with  a  hundred  soldiers 
to  go  and  examine  the  country  further  inland,  and  what  happened 
to  us. 

The  next  morning  Cortes  ordered  Pedro  de  Alvarado 
to  set  out  in  command  of  a  hundred  soldiers,  iifteen  of 
them  with  guns  and  crossbows,  to  examine  the  country 
inland  for  a  distance  of  two  leagues,  and  to  take  Mel- 
chorejo  the  interpreter  from  Cape  Catoche  in  his  company. 
When  Melchorejo  was  looked  for  he  could  not  be  found  as 
he  had  run  off  with  the  people  of  Tabasco,  and  it  appears 
that  the  day  before  he  had  left  the  Spanish  clothes  that 
had  been  given  to  him  hung  up  in  the  palm  grove,  and  had 
fled  by  night  in  a  canoe.  Cortes  was  much  annoyed  at 
his  flight,  fearing  that  he  would  tell  things  to  his  fellow 
countrymen  to  our  disadvantage, — well,  let  him  go  as  a  bit 
of  bad  luck,  and  let  us  get  back  to  our  story.  Cortes  also 
sent  the  Captain  Francisco  de  Lugo,  in  another  direction, 
with  a  hundfed  soldiers,  twelve  of  them  musketeers  and 
crossbowmen,  with  instructions  not  to  go  beyond  two 
leagues  and  to  return  to  the  camp  to  sleep. 



When  Francisco  de  Lugo  and  his  company  had  marched 
about  a  league  from  camp  he  came  on  a  great  host  of 
Indian  archers  carrying  lances  and  shields,  drums  and 
standards  and  they  made  straight  for  our  company  of 
soldiers  and  surrounded  them  on  all  sides.  They  were  so 
numerous  and  shot  their  arrows  so  deftly  that  it  was 
impossible  to  withstand  them,  and  they  hurled  their  fire- 
hardened  darts  and  cast  stones  from  their  slings  in  such 
numbers  that  they  fell  like  hail,  and  they  attacked  our 
men  with  their  two-handed  knife-like  swords.*  Stoutly  as 
Francisco  de  Lugo  and  his  soldiers  fought,  they  could  not 
ward  off  the  enemy,  and  when  this  was  clear  to  them, 
while  still  keeping  a  good  formation,  they  began  to  retreat 
towards  the  camp.  A  certain  Indian,  a  swift  and  daring 
runner,  had  been  sent  off  to  the  camp  to  beg  Cortes  to 
come  to  their  assistance,  meanwhile  Francisco  de  Lugo  by 
careful  management  of  his  musketeers  and  crossbowmen, 
some  loading  while  others  fired,  and  by  occasional  charges 
was  able  to  hold  his  own  against  all  the  squadrons  at- 
tacking him.  , 

Let  us  leave  him  in  the  dangerous  situation  I  have 
described  and  return  to  Captain  Pedro  de  Alvarado,  who 
after  marching  about  a  league  came  on  a  creek  which  was 
very  difficult  to  cross,  and  it  pleased  God  our  Lord  so  to 
lead  him  that  he  should  return  by  another  road  in  the 
direction  where  Francisco  de  Lugo  was  fighting.  When 
he  heard  the  reports  of  the  muskets  and  the  great  din  of 
drums  and  trumpets,  and  the  shouts  and  whistles  of  the 
Indians,  he  knew  that  there  must  be  a  battle  going  on,  so 
with  the  greatest  haste  but  in  good  order  he  ran  towards 
the  cries  and  shots  and  found  Captain  Francisco  de  Lugo 
and  his  men  fighting  with  their  faces  to  the  enemy,  and 
five  of  the  enemy  lying  dead.     As  soon  as  he  joined  forces 

*  Macanas  or  Maquahuitls — edged  with  flint  or  obsidian. 


with  Francisco  de  Lugo  they  turned  on  the  Indians  and 
drove  them  back,  but  they  were  not  able  to  put  them 
to  flight,  and  the  Indians  followed  our  men  right  up  to 
the  camp. 

In  like  manner  other  companies  of  warriors  had  attacked 
us  where  Cortes  was  guarding  the  wounded,  but  we  soon 
drove  them  off  with  our  guns,  which  laid  many  of  them 
low,  and  with  our  good  sword  play. 

When  Cortes  heard  of  Francisco  de  Lugo's  peril  from 
the  Cuban  Indian  who  came  to  beg  for  help,  we  promptly 
went  to  his  assistance,  and  we  met  the  two  captains  with 
their  companies  about  half  a  league  from  the  camp.  Two 
soldiers  of  Francisco  de  Lugo's  company  were  killed  and 
eight  wounded,  and  three  of  Pedro  de  Alvarado's  company 
were  wounded.  When  we  arrived  in  camp  we  buried  the 
dead  and  tended  the  wounded,  and  stationed  sentinels  and 
kept  a  strict  watch. 

In  those  skirmishes  we  killed  fifteen  Indians  and  cap- 
tured three,  one  of  whom  seemed  to  be  a  chief,  and  through 
Aguilar,  our  interpreter,  we  asked  them  why  they  were  so 
mad  as  to  attack  us,  and  that  they  could  see  that  we 
should  kill  them  if  they  attacked  us  again.  Then  one  of 
these  Indians  was  sent  with  some  beads  to  give  to  the 
Caciques  to  bring  them  to  peace,  and  that  messenger  told 
us  that  the  Indian  Melchorejo  whom  we  had  brought  from 
Cape  Catoche,  went  to  the  chiefs  the  night  before  and 
counselled  them  to  fight  us  day  and  night  and  said  that 
they  would  conquer  us  as  we  were  few  in  number;  so 
it  turned  out  that  we  had  brought  an  enemy  with  us 
instead  of  a  help. 

This  Indian  whom  we  despatched  with  the  message 
went  off  and  never  returned.  From  the  other  two  Indian 
prisoners  Aguilar  the  interpreter  learnt  for  certain  that  by 
the  next  day  the  Caciques  from  all  the  neighbouring  towns 
of  the  province  would  have  assembled  with  all  their  forces 

I  2 


ready  to  make  war  on  us,  and  that  they  would  come  and 
surround  our  camp,  for  that  was  Melchorejo's  advice  to 

I  must  leave  oflF  here,  and  will  go  on  to  tell  what  we  did 
in  the  matter. 


How  Cortes  told  us  all  to  get  ready  by  the  next  day  to  go  in  search  of 
the  Indian  host,  and  ordered  the  horses  to  be  brought  from  the 
ships,  and  what  happened  in  the  battle  which  we  fought. 

As  soon  as  Cortes  knew  for  certain  that  the  Indians 
intended  to  make  war  on  us,  he  ordered  all  the  horses  to 
be  landed  from  the  ships  without  delay,  and  the  cross- 
bowmen  and  musketeers  and  all  of  us  soldiers,  even  those 
who  were  wounded,  to  have  our  arms  ready  for  use. 

When  the  horses  were  brought  on  shore  they  were  very 
stiff  and  afraid  to  move,  for  they  had  been  many  days  on 
board  ship,  but  the  next  day  they  moved  quite  freely. 

At  that  time  it  happened  that  six  or  seven  soldiers, 
young  men  and  otherwise  in  good  health,  suffered  from 
pains  in  their  loins,  so  that  they  could  not  stand  on  their 
feet  and  had  to  be  carried  on  men's  backs.  We  did  not 
know  what  this  sickness  came  from,  some  say  that  they 
fell  ill  on  account  of  the  [quilted]  cotton  armour  which 
they  never  took  off,  but  wore  day  and  night,  and  because 
in  Cuba  they  had  lived  daintily  and  were  not  used  to  hard 
work,  so  in  the  heat  they  fell  ill.  Cortes  ordered  them  not 
to  remain  on  land  but  to  be  taken  at  once  on  board  ship. 

The  best  horses  and  riders  were  chosen  to  form  the 
cavalry,  and  the  horses  had  little  bells  attached  to  their 
breastplates.  The  men  were  ordered  not  to  stop  to  spear 
those  who  were  down,  but  to  aim  their  lances  at  the  faces 
of  the  enemy. 


Thirteen  gentlemen  were  chosen  to  go  on  horseback 
with  Cortes  in  command  of  them,  and  I  here  record  their 
names:  —  Cortes,  Cristóval  de  Olid,  Pedro  de  Alvarado, 
Alonzo  Hernandez  Puertocarrero,  Juan  de  Escalante,  Fran- 
cisco de  Montejo,  and  Alonzo  de  Ávíla  to  whom  was 
given  the  horse  belonging  to  Ortiz  the  musician  and 
Bartolomé  Garcia,  for  neither  of  these  men  were  good 
horsemen,  Juan  Velasquez  de  Leon,  Francisco  de  Morla, 
and  Lares  the  good  horseman  (I  call  him  so  because  there 
was  another  Lares),  Gonzalo  Dominguez,  an  excellent 
horseman,  Moron  of  Bayamo,  and  Pedro  Gonzalez  of 
Trujillo.  Cortes  selected  all  these  gentlemen  and  went 
himself  as  their  captain. 

Cortes  ordered  Mesa  the  artilleryman  to  have  his  guns 
ready,  and  he  placed  Diego  de  Ordás  in  command  of  us 
foot  soldiers  and  he  also  had  command  of  the  musketeers 
and  bowmen,  for  he  was  no  horseman. 

Very  early  the  next  day  which  was  the  day  of  Nuestra 
Seiiora  de  Marzo^  after  hearing  mass,  which  was  said  by 
Fray  Bartolomé  de  Olmedo,  we  formed  in  order  under 
our  standard  bearer,  who  at  that  time  was  Antonio  de 
Villaroel  the  husband  of  Isabel  de  Ojeda,  who  afterwards 
changed  his  name  to  Antonio  Serrano  de  Cardona,  and 
marched  to  some  large  savannas  where  Francisco  de 
Lugo  and  Pedro  de  Alvarado  had  been  attacked,  about 
a  league  distant  from  the  camp  we  had  left ;  and  that 
savanna  and  township  was  called  Cintla,  and  was  subject 
to  Tabasco. 

Cortes  [and  the  horsemen]  were  separated  a  short  dis- 
tance from  us  on  account  of  some  swamps  which  could 
not  be  crossed  by  the  horses,  and  as  we  were  marching 
along  in  the  way  I  have  said,  we  came  on  the  whole  force 
of  Indian  warriors  who  were  on  the  way  to  attack  us  in  our 

^  Lady-day,  25th  March. 


camp.  It  was  near  the  town  of  Cintla  that  we  met  them 
on  an  open  plain.  So  it  happened  that  those  warriors 
were  looking  for  us  with  the  intention  of  attacking  us,  and 
we  were  looking  for  them  for  the  very  same  purpose.  I 
must  leave  off  here,  and  will  go  on  to  tell  what  happened  in 
the  battle,  and  one  may  well  call  it  a  battle,  as  will  be 
seen  further  on. 


How  all  the  Caciques  of  Tabasco  and  its  dependencies  atttacked  us, 
and  what  came  of  it. 

I  HAVE  already  said  how  we  were  marching  along  when 
we  met  all  the  forces  of  the  enemy  which  were  moving  in 
search  of  us,  and  all  the  men  wore  great  feather  crests  and 
they  carried  drums  and  trumpets,  and  their  faces  were 
coloured  black  and  white,  and  they  were  armed  with  large 
bows  and  arrows,  lances  and  shields  and  swords  shaped 
like  our  two-handed'  swords,  and  many  slings  and  stones 
and  fire-hardened  jayelins,  and  all  wore  quilted  cotton 
armour.  As  they  approached  us  their  squadrons  were  so 
numerous  that  they  covered  the  whole  plain,  and  they 
rushed  on  us  like  mad  dogs  completely  surrounding  us, 
and  they  let  fly  such  a  cloud  of  arrows,  javelins  and  stones 
that  on  the  first  assault  they  wounded  over  seventy  of  us, 
and  fighting  hand  to  hand  they  did  us  great  damage  with 
their  lances,  and  one  soldier^  fell  dead  at  once  from  an 
arrow  wound  in  the  ear,  and  they  kept  on  shooting  and 
wounding  us.*     With  our  muskets  and  crossbows  and  with 

^  Alonzo  Remón  Edition  says  '*  a  soldier  named  Saldana." 

*  Carta  de  Vera  Cruz  says  that  only  twenty  were  wounded  in  all, 
and  that  no  one  died  of  their  wounds.  Gomara  says  seventy  were 


good  sword  play  we  did  not  fail  as  stout  fighters,  and 
when  they  came  to  feel  the  edge  of  our  swords  little  by 
little  they  fell  back,  but  it  was  only  so  as  to  shoot  at 
us  in  greater  safety.  Mesa,  our  artilleryman,  killed  many 
of  them  with  his  cannon,  for  they  were  formed  in  great 
squadrons  and  they  did  not  open  out  so  that  he  could  fire 
at  them  as  he  pleased,  but  with  all  the  hurts  and  wounds 
which  we  gave  them,  we  could  not  drive  them  off.  I  said 
to  Diego  de  Ordás  "  it  seems  to  me  that  we  ought  to  close 
up  and  charge  them,"  for  in  truth  they  suffered  greatly 
from  the  strokes  and  thrusts  of  our  swords,  and  that  was 
why  they  fell  away  from  us,  both  from  fear  of  these 
swords,  and  the  better  to  shoot  their  arrows  and  hurl  their 
javelins  and  the  hail  of  stones.  Ordás  replied  that  it  was 
not  good  advice,  for  there  were  three  hundred  Indians  to 
every  one  of  us,  and  that  we  could  not  hold  out  against 
such  a  multitude, — so  there  we  stood  enduring  their  attack. 
However,  we  did  agree  to  get  as  near  as  we  could  to  them, 
as  I  had  advised  Ordás,  so  as  to  give  them  a  bad  time 
with  our  swordsmanship,  and  they  suffered  so  much  from 
it  that  they  retreated  towards  a  swamp. 

During  all  this  time  Cortes  and  his  horsemen  failed  to 
appear,  although  we  greatly  longed  for  him,  and  we  feared 
that  by  chance  some  disaster  had  befallen  him. 

I  remember  that  when  we  fired  shots  the  Indians  gave 
great  shouts  and  whistles  and  threw  dust  and  rubbish  into 
the  air  so  that  we  should  not  see  the  damage  done  to 
them,  and  they  sounded  their  trumpets  and  drums  and 
shouted  and  whistled  and  cried  "  Alala !  alala ! " 

Just  at  this  time  we  caught  sight  of  our  horsemen, 
and  as  the  great  Indian  host  was  crazed  with  its  attack  on 
us,  it  did  not  at  once  perceive  them  coming  up  behind 
their  backs,  and  as  the  plain  was  level  ground  and  the 
horsemen  were  good  riders,  and  many  of  the  horses  were 
very  handy  and  fine  gallopers,  they  came  quickly  on  the 


enemy  and  speared  them  as  they  chose.  As  soon  as  we 
saw  the  horsemen  we  fell  on  the  Indians  with  such  energy 
that  with  us  attacking  on  one  side  and  the  horsemen  on 
the  othfer,  they  soon  turned  tail.  The  Indians  thought  that 
the  horse  and  its  rider  was  all  one  animal,  for  they  had 
never  seen  horses  up  to  this  time. 

The  savannas  and  fields  were  crowded  with  Indians 
runnin^j  to  take  refuge  in  the  thick  woods  near  by. 

After  we  had  defeated  the  enemy  Cortes  told  us  that  he 
had  not  been  able  to  come  to  us  sooner  as  there  was  a 
swamp  in  the  way,  and  he  had  to  fight  his  way  through 
another  force  of  warriors  before  he  could  reach  us,  and 
three  horsemen  and  five  horses  had  been  wounded. 

As  soon  as  the  horsemen  had  dismounted  under  some 
trees  and  houses,  we  returned  thanks  to  God  for  giving  us 
so  complete  a  victory. 

As  it  was  Lady  day  we  gave  to  the  town  which  was 
afterwards  founded  here  the  name  of  Santa  Maria  de  la 
Victoria,  on  account  of  this  great  victory  being  won  on 
Our  Lady's  day.  This  was  the  first  battle  that  we  fought 
under  Cortes  in  New  Spain. 

After  this  we  bound  up  the  hurts  of  the  wounded  with 
cloths,  for  we  had  nothing  else,  and  we  doctored  the  horses 
by  searing  their  wounds  with  the  fat  from  the  body  of  a 
dead  Indian  which  we  cut  up  to  get  out  the  fat,  and  we 
went  to  look  at  the  dead  lying  on  the  plain  and  there  were 
more  than  eight  hundred  of  them,  the  greater  number 
killed  by  thrusts,  the  others  by  the  cannon,  muskets  and 
crossbows,  and  many  were  stretched  on  the  ground  half 
dead.  Where  the  horsemen  had  passed,  numbers  of  them 
lay  dead  or  groaning  from  their  wounds.  The  battle  lasted 
over  an  hour,  and  the  Indians  fought  all  the  time  like  brave 
warriors,  until  the  horsemen  came  up. 

We  took  five  prisoners,  two  of  them  Captains.  As  it 
was  late  and  we  had  had  enough  of  fighting,  and  we  had 


not  eaten  anything,  we  returned  to  our  camp.     Then  ^e 
buried  the  two  soldiers  who  had  been  killed,  one  by  a 
wound   in   the   ear,  and    the  other  by  a  wound  in   the  11 
throat,  and  we  seared  the  wounds  of  the  others  and  of  Í; 
the  horses  with  the  fat  of  the  Indian,  and  after  posting! 
sentinels  and  guards,  we  had  supper  and  rested. 

It  is  on  this  occasion  that  Francisco  Lopez  de  Gomara 
says  that  Francisco  de  Morla  set  out  on  a  dapple  gray 
horse  before  Cortes  and  the  other  horsemen  arrived,  and 
that  the  sainted  apostles  Senor  Santiago  and  Senor  San 
Pedro  appeared.    I  say  that  all  our  doings  and  our  victories 
are  at  the  hands  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  and  that  in  this 
battle  there  were  so' many  Indians  to  every  one  of  us  that 
they  could  have  blinded  us  with  the  dust  they  raised  but 
for  the  pity  of  God  who  always  helped  us.    It  may  be  that 
as  Gomara  says  the  Glorious  Apostles  Sefior  Santiago  and 
Sefior  San  Pedro  came  to  our  aid  and  that  I,  being  a 
sinner  was  not  worthy  to  behold  them.    What  I  saw  was 
Francisco  de  Morla,  on  a  chestnut  horse,  who  came  up  at 
the  same  time  as  Cortes,  and  it  seems  to  ^me  that  now  as  I  , 
write  I  can  see  again  with  these  sinful  eyes  all  that  battle  Í 
in  the  very  way  that  it  took  place,  and  although  I  ami 
a  poor  sinner  and  not  worthy  to  see  either  of  those  glorious 
apostles,   there  were    there   in    our   company  over   four 
hundred   soldiers   and    Cortes    himself   and   many   other 
gentlemen,   and   it  would   have   been   talked   about,  and 
evidence  would  have  been  taken,  and  a  church  would  have 
been  built  when  the  town  was  founded,  and  the  town  would 
have  been  named  Santiago  de  la  Victoria,  or  San  Pedro  de 
la  Victoria  instead   of  Santa  Maria  de  la  Victoria.     If  it 
was  as   Gomara   says  we  must  have  all  been  very  bad 
Christians,  when  our  Lord  God  sent  his  holy  Apostle  to  us, 
not  to  recognise  the  great  favour  that  he  was  showing  to 
us,  and  not  daily  to  have  venerated  that  church.    I  wish  to 
God  it  were  as  the  historian  Gomara  says,  but,  until  I  read 


his  history,  one  never  heard  about  it  among  the  conquista- 
dores  who  were  there  at  the  time. 

I  will  leave  off  here  and  go  on  to  tell  what  else  happened 
to  us. 


How  Cortes  sent  to  summon  all  the  Caciques  of  those  provinces 
and  what  was  done  about  it. 

I  HAVE  already  said  that  we  captured  five  Indians  during 

the  battle  of  whom  two  were  captains.    When  Aguilar 

spoke  to  these  men  he  found  out  from  what  they  said  that 

they  were  fit  persons  to  be  sent  as  messengers,  and  he 

advised  Cortes  to  free  them,  so  that  they  might  go  and  talk 

to  the  Caciques  of  the  town  and  any  others  they  might  see. 

These  two  messengers  were  given  green  and  blue  beads, 

and  Aguilar  spoke  many  pleasant  and   flattering  words 

to  them,  telling  them  that  they  had  nothing  to  fear  as 

we  wished  to  treat  them  like  brothers,  that  it  was  their  own 

fault  that  they  had  made  war  on  us,  and  that  now  they  had 

better  collect  together  all  the  Caciques  of  the  different 

towns  as  we  wished  to  talk  to  them,  and  he  gave  them 

much  other  advice  in  a  gentle  way  so  as- to  gain  their  good 

will.      The  messengers  went  off  willingly  and  spoke  to  the 

Caciques  and  chief  men,  and  told  them  all  we  wished  them 

to  know  about  our  desire  for  peace. 

When  our  envoys  had  been  listened  to,  it  was  settled 

among  them  that  fifteen   Indian  slaves,  all  with   stained 

faces  and  ragged  cloaks  and  loin  cloths,  should  at  once 

be  sent  to  us  with  fowls  and  baked  fish  and  maize  cakes. 

When  these  men  came  before  Cortes  he  received  them 

graciously,  but  Aguilar  the  interpreter  asked  them  rather 

angrily  why  they  had  come  with  their  faces  in  that  state, 

that  it  looked  more  as  though  they  came  to  fight  than  to 

treat  for  peace;  and  he  told  them  to  go  back  to  the 


Caciques  and  inform  them,  that  if  they  wished  for  peace  in 
the  way  we  offered  it,  chieftains  should  come  and  treat 
for  it,  as  was  always  the  custom,  and  that  they  should  not 
send  slaves.  But  even  these  painted  faced  slaves  were 
treated  with  consideration  by  us  and  blue  beads  were  sent 
by  them  in  sign  of  peace,  and  to  soothe  their  feelings. 

The  next  day  thirty  Indian  Chieftains,  clad  in  good 
cloaks,  came  to  visit  us  and  brought  fowls,  fish,  fruit  and 
maize  cakes,  and  asked  leave  from  Cortes  to  bum  and  bury 
the  bodies  of  the  dead  who  had  fallen  in  the  recent  battles, 
so  that  they  should  not  smell  badly  or  be  eaten  by  lions 
and  tigers.  Permission  was  at  once  given  them  and  they 
hastened  to  bring  many  people  to  bury  and  burn  the 
bodies  according  to  their  customs. 

Cortes  learnt  from  the  Caciques  that  over  eight  hundred 
men  were  missing,  not  counting  those  who  had  been  carried 
off  wounded.^ 

They  said  that  they  could  not  tarry  with  us  either  to 
discuss  the  matter  or  make  peace,  for  on  the  morrow 
the  chieftains  and  leaders  of  all  the  towns  would  have 
assembled,  and  that  then  they  would  agree  about  a  peace. 

As  Cortes  was  very  sagacious  about  everything,  he  said, 
laughing,  to  us  soldiers  who  happened  to  be  in  his 
company,  "  Do  you  know,  gentlemen,  that  it  seems  to  me 
that  the  Indians  are  terrified  at  the  horses  and  may  think 
that  they  and  the  cannon  alone  make  war  on  them.  I  have 
thought  of  something  which  will  confirm  this  belief,  and 
that  is  to  bring  the  mare  belonging  to  Juan  Sedefio,  which 
foaled  the  other  day  on  board  ship,  and  tie  her  up  where 
I  am  now  standing  and  also  to  bring  the  stallion  of  Ortiz 
the  musician,  which  is  very  excitable,  near  enough  to 
scent  the  mare,  and  when   he  has  scented  her  to  lead 

^  The  Carta  de  Vera  Cruz  says  the  Indians  were  40^000  in  number 
and  that  they  lost  220  killed. 


each  of  them  off  separately  so  that  the  Caciques  who  are 
coming  shall  not  hear  the  horse  neighing  as  they  approach, 
not  until  they  are  standing  before  me  and  are  talking  to 
me."  We  did  just  as  Cortes  ordered  and  brought  the 
horse  and  mare,  and  the  horse  soon  detected  the  scent 
of  her  in  Cortés's  quarters.  In  addition  to  this  Cortes 
ordered  the  largest  cannon  that  we  possessed  to  be  loaded 
with  a  large  ball  and  a  good  charge  of  powder. 

About  mid-day  forty  Indians  arrived,  all  of  them 
Caciques  of  good  bearing,  wearing  rich  mantles  such  as  are 
used  by  them.  They  saluted  Cortes  and  all  of  us,  and 
brought  incense  and  fumigated  all  of  us  who  were  present, 
and  they  asked  pardon  for  their  past  behaviour,  and  said 
that  henceforth  they  would  be  friendly. 

Cortes,  through  Aguilar  the  Interpreter,  answered  them 
in  a  rather  grave  manner,  as  though  he  were  angry,  that 
they  well  knew  how  many  times  he  had  asked  them  to 
maintain  peace,  that  the  fault  was  theirs,  and  that  now 
they  deserved  to  be  put  to  death,  they  and  all  the  people 
of  their  towns,  but  that  as  we  were  the  vassals  of  a  great 
King  and  Lord  named  the  Emperor  Don  Carlos,  who  had 
sent  us  to  these  countries,  and  ordered  us  to  help  and 
favour  those  who  would  enter  his  royal  service,  that  if  they 
were  now  as  well  disposed  as  they  said  they  were,  that 
we  would  take  this  course,  but  that  if  they  were  not,  some 
of  those  Teþustles  would  jump  out  and  kill  them  (they  call 
iron  Tepustle  in  their  language)  for  some  of  the  Tepustles 
were  still  angry  because  thay  had  made  war  on  us. 
At  this  moment  the  order  was  secretly  given  to  put  a 
match  to  the  cannon  which  had  been  loaded,  and  it  went 
off  with  such  a  thunderclap  as  was  wanted,  and  the  ball 
went  buzzing  over  the  hills,  and  as  it  was  mid-day  and 
very  still  it  made  a  great  noise,  and  the  Caciques  were 
terrified  on  hearing  it.  As  they  had  never  seen  anything 
like  it  they  believed  what  Cortes  had  told  them  was  true. 


Then  Cortes  told  them,  through  Aguilar,  not  to  be  afraid 
for  he  had  given  orders  that  no  harm  should  be  done 
to  them. 

Just  then  the  horse  that  had  scented  the  mare  was 
brought  and  tied  up  not  far  distant  from  where  Cortes  was 
talking  to  the  Caciques,  and,  as  the  mare  had  been  tied 
up  at  the  place  where  Cortes  and  the  Indians  were  talking* 
the  horse  began  to  paw  the  ground  and  neigh  and  become 
wild  with  excitement,  looking  all  the  time  towards  the 
Indians  and  the  place  whence  the  scent  of  the  mare  had 
reached  him,  and  the  Caciques  thought  that  he  was  roaring 
at  them  and  they  were  terrified.  When  Cortes  observed 
their  state  of  mind,  he  rose  from  his  seat  and  went  to 
the  horse  and  told  two  orderlies  to  lead  it  far  away, 
and  said  to  the  Indians  that  he  had  told  the  horse  not 
to  be  angry  as  they  were  friendly  and  wished  to  make 

While  this  was  going  on  there  arrived  more  than  thirty 
Indian  carriers,  whom  the  natives  call  Tamenes^  who  brought 
a  meal  of  fowls  and  fish  and  fruits  and  other  food,  and 
it  appears  that  they  had  lagged  behind  and  could  not  reach 
us  at  the  same  time  as  the  Caciques. 

Cortes  had  a  long  conversation  with  these  chieftains  and 
Caciques  and  they  told  him  that  they  would  all  come 
on  the  next  day  and  would  bring  a  present  and  would 
discuss  other  matters,  and  then  they  went  away  quite 

And  there  I  will  leave  them  until  the  next  day. 



How  all  the  Caciques  and  Calachonis  from  the  Rio  de  Grijalva  came 
and  brought  a  present,  and  what  took  place  about  it. 

Early  the  next  morning,  the  isth  March,  15 19,*  many 
Caciques  and  chiefs  of  Tabasco  and  the  neighbouring 
towns  arrived  and  paid  great  respect  to  us  all,  and  they 
brought  a  present  of  gold,  consisting  of  four  diadems  and 
some  gold  lizards,  and  two  [ornaments]  like  little  dogs,  and 
earrings,  and  five  ducks,  and  two  masks*  with  Indian  faces, 
and  two  gold  soles  for  sandals,  and  some  other  things  of 
little  value.  I  do  not  remember  how  much  the  things  were 
worth ;  and  they  brought  cloth,  such  as  they  make  and 
wear,  which  was  quilted  stuff.  My  readers  will  have  heard 
from  those  who  know  that  province  that  there  is  nothing 
of  much  value  in  it 

This  present,  however,  was  worth  nothing  in  comparison 
with  the  twenty  women  that  were  given  us,  among  them 
one  very  excellent  woman  called  Dofia  Marina,  for  so  she 
was  named  when  she  became  a  Christian.  I  will  leave  off 
talking  about  her  and  the  other  women  who  were  brought 
to  us,  and  will  tell  how  Cortes  received  this  present  with 
pleasure  and  went  aside  with  all  the  Caciques,  and  with 
Aguilar,  the  interpreter,  to  hold  converse,  and  he  told 
them  that  he  gave  them  thanks  for  what  they  had  brought 
with  them,  but  there  was  one  thing  that  he  must  ask 
of  them,  namely,  that  they  should  re-occupy  the  town 
with  all  their  people,  women  and  children,  and  he  wished 
to  see  it  repeopled  within  two  days,  for  he  would 
recognize  that  as  a  sign  of  true   peace.     The  Caciques 

^  This  is  evidently  an  error,  as  Bernal  Diaz  has  already  stated  that 
the  Battle  of  Cintla  was  fought  on  Lady  day,  the  25th  March. 

^  In  the  text  "dos  iiguras  de  Caras  de  Indios.'' 


sent  at  once  to  summon  all  the  inhabitants  with  their 
women  and  children  and  within  two  days  they  were  again 
settled  in  the  town. 

One  other  thing  Cortes  asked  of  the  chiefs  and  that  was 
to  give  up  their  idols  and  sacrifices,  and  this  they  said  they 
would  do,  and,  through  Aguilar,  Cortes  told  them  as  well 
as  he  was  able  about  matters  concerning  our  holy  faith, 
how  we  were  Christians  and  worshipped  one  true  and  only 
God,  and  he  showed  them  an  image  of  Our  Lady  with  her 
precious  Son  in  her  arms  and  explained  to  them  that  we 
paid  the  greatest  reverence  to  it  as  it  was  the  image  of  the 
Mother  of  our  Lord  God  who  was  in  heaven.  The  Caciques 
replied  that  they  liked  the  look  of  the  great  Teleciguata 
(for  in  their  language  great  ladies  are  called  Teleciguatas) 
and  [begged]  that  she  might  be  given  them  to  keep  in  their 
town,  and  Cortes  said  that  the  image  should  be  given  to 
them  and  ordered  them  to  make  a  well-constructed  altar, 
and  this  they  did  at  once. 

The  next  morning,  Cortes  ordered  two  of  our  carpenters, 
named  Alonzo  Yaftez  and  Alvaro  Lopez,  to  make  a  very 
tall  cross. 

When  all  this  had  been  settled  Cortes  asked  the  Caciques 
what  was  their  reason  for  attacking  us  three  times  when 
we  had  asked  them  to  keep  the  peace  ;  the  chief  replied  that 
he  had  already  asked  pardon  for  their  acts  and  had  been 
forgiven,  that  the  Cacique  of  Chanpoton,  his  brother,  had 
advised  it,  and  that  he  feared  to  be  accused  of  cowardice, 
for  he  had  already  been  reproached  and  dishonoured  for  not 
having  attacked  the  other  captain  who  had  come  with  four 
ships,  (he  must  have  meant  Juan  de  Grijalva)  and  he  also 
said  that  the  Indian  whom  we  had  brought  as  an  Inter- 
preter, who  escaped  in  the  night,  had  advised  them  to 
attack  us  both  by  day  and  night. 

Cortes  then  ordered  this  man  to  be  brought  before  him 
without  fail,  but  they  replied  that  when  he  saw  that  the 

128  "  CULUA"  AND  "  MEXICO." 

battle  was  going  against  them,  he  had  taken  to  flight,  and 
they  knew  not  where  he  was  although  search  had  been 
made  for  him  ;  but  we  came  to  know  that  they  had  offered 
him  as  a  sacrifice  because  his  counsel  had  cost  them  so  dear. 

Cortes  also  asked  them  where  they  procured  their  gold 
and  jewels,  and  they  replied,  from  the  direction  of  the 
setting  sun,  and  said  "Culua"  and  "Mexico,"  and  as  we 
did  not  know  what  Mexico  and  Culua  meant  we  paid  little 
attention  to  it. 

Then  we  brought  another  interpreter  named  Francisco, 
whom  we  had  captured  during  Grijalva's  expedition,  who 
has  already  been  mentioned  by  me,  but  he  understood 
nothing  of  the  Tabasco  language  only  that  of  Culua*  which 
is  the  Mexican  tongue.  By  means  of  signs  he  told  Cortes 
that  Culua  was  far  ahead,  and  he  repeated  ''  Mexico " 
which  we  did  not  understand. 

So  the  talk  ceased  until  the  next  day  when  the  sacred 
image  of  Our  Lady  and  the  Cross  were  set  up  on  the  altar 
and  we  all  paid  reverence  to  them,  and  Padre  Fray  Barto- 
lomé  de  Olmedo  said  mass  and  all  the  Caciques  and  chiefs 
were  present  and  we  gave  the  name  of  Santa  Maria  de  la 
Victoria  to  the  town,  and  by  this  name  the  town  of  Tabasco 
is  now  called.  The  same  friar,  with  Aguilar  as  interpreter, 
prea-'hed  many  good  things  about  our  holy  faith  to  the 
twenty  Indian  women  who  had  been  given  us,  telling  them 
not  to  believe  in  the  Idols  which  they  had  been  wont  to 
trust  in,  for  they  were  evil  things  and  not  gods,  and  that 
they  should  offer  no  more  sacrifices  to  them  for  they  would 
lead  them  astray,  but  that  they  should  worship  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  and  immediately  afterwards  they  were  bap- 
tized. One  Indian  lady  who  was  given  to  us  here  was 
christened  Dona  Marina,  and  she  was  truly  a  great  chief- 

^  The  word  in  the  text  is  Cuba,  but  clearly  it  must  be  intended  for 
Culua,  as  is  shown  in  the  context. 

DOfÍA   MARINA.  1 29 

tainess  and  the  daughter  of  great  Caciques  and  the  mistress 
of  vassals,  and  this  her  appearance  clearly  showed.  Later 
on  I  will  relate  why  it  was  and  in  what  manner  she  was 
brought  here. 

I  do  not  clearly  remember  the  names  of  all  the  other 
women,  and  it  is  not  worth  while  to  name  any  of  them  ; 
however,  they  were  the  first  women  to  become  Christians 
in  New  Spain. 

Cortes  allotted  one  of  them  to  each  of  his  captains  and 
Dofta  Marina,  as  she  was  good  looking  and  intelligent  and 
without  embarrassment,  he  gave  to  Alonzo  Hernandez 
Pucrtocarrero,  who  I  have  already  said  was  a  distinguished 
gentleman,  and  cousin  of  the  Count  of  Medellin.  When 
Puertocarrero  went  to  Spain,  Doiia  Marina  lived  with 
Cortes,  and  bore  him  a  son  named  Don  Martin  Cortes. 

We  remained  five  days  in  this  town,  to  look  after  the 
wounded  and  those  who  were  suffering  from  pain  in  the 
loins,  from  which  they  all  recovered.  Furthermore,  Cortes 
drew  the  Caciques  to  him  by  kindly  converse,  and  told 
them  how  our  master  the  Emperor,  whose  vassals  we  were, 
had  under  his  orders  many  great  lords,  and  that  it  would 
be  well  for  them  also  to  render  him  obedience,  and  that 
then,  whatever  they  might  be  in  need  of,  whether  it  was 
our  protection  or  any  other  necessity,  if  they  would  jmake 
it  known  to  him,  no  matter  where  he  might  be,  he  would 
come  to  their  assistance. 

The  Caciques  all  thanked  him  for  this,  and  thereupon  all 
declared  themselves  the  vassals  of  our  great  Emperor. 
These  were  the  first  vassals  to  render  submission  to  His 
Majesty  in  New  Spain. 

Cortes  then  ordered  the  Caciques  to  come  with  their 
women  and  children  early  the  next  day,  which  was  Palm 
Sunday,  to  the  altar,  to  pay  homage  to  the  holy  image 
of  Our  Lady  and  to  the  Cross,  and  at  the  same  time  Cortes 
ordered  them  to  send  six  Indian  carpenters  to  accompany 



our  carpenters  to  the  town  of  Cintia  where  our  Lord  God 
was  pleased  to  give  us  victory  in  the  battle  which  I  have 
described,  there  to  cut  a  cross  on  a  great  tree  called  a 
Ceiba  which  grew  there,  and  they  did  it  so  that  it  might 
last  a  long  time,  for  as  the  bark  is  renewed  the  cross  will 
show  there  for  ever.  When  this  was  done  he  ordered  the 
Indians  to  get  ready  all  the  canoes  that  they  owned  to 
help  us  to  embark,  for  we  wished  to  set  sail  on  that 
holy  day  because  the  pilots  had  come  to  tell  Cortes  that 
the  ships  ran  a  great  risk  from  a  Norther  which  is  a 
dangerous  gale. 

The  next  day,  early  in  the  morning,  all  the  Caciques  and 
chiefs  came  in  their  canoes  with  all  their  women  and 
children  and  stood  in  the  court  where  we  had  placed  the 
church  and  cross,  and  many  branches  of  trees  had  already 
been  cut  ready  to  be  carried  in  the  procession.  Then  the 
Caciques  beheld  us  all,  Cortes,  as  well  as  the  captains,  and 
every  one  of  us  marching  together  with  the  greatest 
reverence  in  a  devout  procession,  and  the  Padre  de  la 
Merced  and  the  priest,  Juan  Diaz,  clad  in  their  vestments, 
said  mass,  and  we  paid  reverence  to  and  kissed  the  Holy 
Cross,  while  the  Caciques  and  Indians  stood  looking  on 
at  us. 

When  our  solemn  festival  was  over  the  chiefs  approached 
and  offered  Cortes  ten  fowls,  and  baked  fish  and  vegetables, 
and  we  took  leave  of  them,  and  Cortes  again  commended 
to  their  care  the  Holy  image  and  the  sacred  crosses  and 
told  them  always  to  keep  the  place  clean  and  well  swept 
and  to  deck  the  cross  with  garlands  and  to  reverence  it, 
and  then  they  would  enjoy  good  health  and  bountiful 

It  was  growing  late  when  we  got  on  board  ship  and 
the  next  day,  Monday,  we  set  sail  in  the  morning  and  with 
a  fair  wind  laid  our  course  for  San  Juan  de  Ulua,  keeping 
close  in  shore  all  the  time 


As  we  sailed  along  in  the  fine  weather,  wc  soldiers 
who  knew  the  coast  would  say  to  Cortes,  "Seftor,  over 
there  is  La  Rambla,  which  the  Indians  call  Ayagualulco," 
and  soon  afterwards  we  arrived  off  Tonalá  which  we  called 
San  Antonio,  and  we  pointed  it  out  to  him.  Further  on 
we  showed  him  the  great  river  of  Coatzacoalcos,  and  he 
saw  the  lofty  snow  capped  mountains,  and  then  the  Sierra 
of  San  Martin,  and  further  on  we  pointed  out  the  split 
rock,  which  is  a  great  rock  standing  out  in  the  sea  with 
a  mark  on  the  top  of  it  which  gives  it  the  appearance 
of  a  seat.  Again  further  on  we  showed  him  the  Rio  de 
Alvarado,  which  Pedro  de  Alvarado  entered  when  we  were 
with  Grijalva,  and  then  we  came  in  sight  of  the  Rio  de 
Banderas,  where  we  had  gained  in  barter  the  sixteen 
thousand  dollars,  then  we  showed  him  the  Isla  Blanca,  and 
told  him  where  lay  the  Isla  Verde,  and  close  in  shore  we 
saw  the  Isla  de  Sacrificios  where  we  found  the  altars 
and  the  Indian  victinis  in  Grijalva's  time  ;  and  at  last  our 
good  fortune  brought  us  to  San  Juan  de  Uliia  soon  after 
midday  on  Holy  Thursday. 

I  remember  that  a  gentleman,  Alonzo  Hernandez 
Puertocarrero  came  up  to  Cortes  and  said  :  "  It  seems 
to  me,  sir,  that  these  gentlemen  who  have  been  twice 
before  to  this  country  are  saying  to  you : — 

Cata  Francia,  Montesinos. 
Cata  Paris  la  ciudad. 
Cata  las  aguas  de  Duero 
Do  van  a  dar  en  la  Mar. 

Behold  France,  Montesinos. 
Look  at  Paris,  the  city. 
See  the  waters  of  the  Duero 
Flowing  to  the  sea. 

I  say  that  you  are  looking  on  rich  lands,  may  you 
know  how  to  govern  them  welll" 

Cortes  knew  well  the  purpose  for  which  these  words 
were  said,  and  answered :  **  Let  God  give  us  the  good 
fortune  in  fighting  which  He  gave  to  the  Paladin  Roldan, 
and  with  Your  Honour  and  the  other  gentlemen  for 
leaders,  I  shall  know  well  how  to  manage  it." 

K  2 

132  THE  STORY 

Let  us  leave  off  here,  for  this  is  what  took  place  and 
Cortes  did  not  go  into  the  Rio  de  Alvarado,  as  Gomara 
says  he  did. 


Showing  that  Dona  Marina  was  a  Ccuica  and  the  daughter  of  persons 
of  high  rank,  and  was  the  mistress  of  towns  and  vassals,  and  how 
it  happened  that  she  was  taken  to  Tabasco. 

Before  telling  about  the  great  Montezuma  and  his  famous 
City  of  Mexico  and  the  Mexicans,  I  wish  to  give  some 
account  of  Dona  Marina,  who  from  her  childhood  had  been 
the  mistress  and  Cacica  of  towns  and  vassals.  It  happened 
in  this  way : 

Her  father  and  mother  were  chiefs  and  Caciques  of  a 
town  called  Paynala,  which  had  other  towns  subject  to  it, 
and  stood  about  eight  leagues  from  the  town  of  Coatza- 
coalcos.  Her  father  died  while  she  was  still  a  little  child, 
and  her  mother  married  another  Cacique,  a  young  man, 
and  bore  him  a  son.  It  seems  that  the  father  and  mother 
had  a  great  affection  for  this  son  and  it  was  agreed  between 
them  that  he  should  succeed  to  their  honours  when  their 
days  were  done.  So  that  there  should  be  no  impediment 
to  this,  they  gave  the  little  girl,  Dona  Marina,  to  some 
Indians  from  Xicalango^  and  this  they  did  by  night  so  as 
to  escape  observation,  and  they  then  spread  the  report  that 
she  had  died,  and  as  it  happened  at  this  time  that  a  child 
of  one  of  their  Indian  slaves  died  they  gave  out  that  it  was 
their  daughter  and  the  heiress  who  was  dead. 

The  Indians  of  Xicalango  gave  the  child  to  the  people 
of  Tabasco,  and  the  Tabasco  people  gave  her  to  Cortes. 
I  myself  knew  her  mother,  and'  the  old  woman's  son  and 

^  Xicalango,  on  the  southern  side  of  the  Laguna  de  Términos,  was 
an  outlying  stronghold  of  the  Aztec  Empire.  (See  Relacion  de  Melchor 
de  Sta,  Cruz.) 

OF  doSta  marina.  133 

her  half-brother,  when  he  was  already  grown  up  and  ruled 
the  town  jointly  with  his  mother,  for  the  second  husband 
of  the  old  lady  was  dead.  When  they  became  Christians, 
the  old  lady  was  called  Marta  and  the  son  Lázaro.  I  knew 
all  this  very  well  because  in  the  year  1523  after  the  con- 
quest of  Mexico  and  the  other  provinces,  when  Cristóval 
de  Olid  revolted  in  Honduras,  and  Cortes  was  -on  his  way 
there,  he  passed  through  Coatzacoalcos  and  I  and  the 
greater  number  of  the  settlers  of  that  town  accompanied 
him  on  that  expedition  as  I  shall  relate  in  the  proper 
time  and  place.  As  Dofia  Marina  proved  herself  such  an 
excellent  woman  and  good  interpreter  throughout  the 
wars  in  New  Spain,  Tlascala  and  Mexico  (as  I  shall  show 
later  on),  Cortes  always  took  her  with  him,  and  during 
that  expedition  she  was  married  to  a  gentleman  named 
Juan  Jaramillo  at  the  town  of  Orizaba,  before  certain 
witnesses,  one  of  whom  was  named  Aranda,  a  settler  in 
Tabasco  and  this  man  told  [me]  about  the  marriage  (not 
in  the  way  the  historian  Gomara  relates  it). 

Dofla  Marina  was  a  person  of  the  greatest  importance 
and  was  obeyed  without  question  by  the  Indians  through- 
out New  Spain. 

When  Cortes  was  in  the  town  of  Coatzacoalcos  he  sent 
to  summon  to  his  presence  all  the  Caciques  of  that 
province  in  order  to  make  them  a  speech  about  our  holy 
religion,  and  about  their  good  treatment,  and  among  the 
Caciques  who  assembled  was  the  mother  of  Dona  Marina 
and  her  half-brother,  Lázaro. 

Some  time  before  this  Dona  Marina  had  told  me  that 
she  belonged  to  that  province  and  that  she  was  the 
mistress  of  vassals,  and  Cortes  also  knew  it  well,  as  did 
Aguilar,  the  interpreter.  In  such  a  manner  it  was  that 
mother,  daughter  and  son  came  together,  and  it  was  easy 
enough  to  see  that  she  was  the  daughter  from  the  strong 
likeness  she  bore  to  her  mother. 

134  THE  STORY 

These  relations  were  in  great  fear  of  Dona  Marina,  for 
they  thought  that  she  had  sent  for  them  to  put  them  to 
death,  and  they  were  weeping. 

When  Dona  Marina  saw  them  in  tears,  she  consoled 
them  and  told  them  to  have  no  fear,  that  when  they  had 
given  her  over  to  the  men  from  Xicalango,  they  knew  not 
what  they  were  doing,  and  she  forgave  them  for  doing  it, 
"  and  she  gave  them  many  jewels  of  gold,  and  raiment,  and 
told  them  to  return  to  their  town,  and  said  that  God  had 
been  very  gracious  to  her  in  freeing  her  from  the  worship 
of  idols  and  making  her  a  Christian,  and  letting  her  bear  a 
son  to  her  lord  and  master  Cortes  and  in  marrying  her  to 
such  a  gentleman  as  Juan  Jaramillo,  who  was  now  her 
husband.  That  she  would  rather  serve  her  husband  and 
Cortes  than  anything  else  in  the  world,  and  would  not 
exchange  her  place  to  be  Cacica  of  all  the  provinces  in 
New  Spain. 

All  this  which  I  have  repeated  here  I  know  for  certain 
(and  I  swear  to  it.)^ 

This  seems  to  me  very  much  like  what  took  place 
between  Joseph  and  his  brethren  in  Egypt  when  they 
came  into  his  power  over  the  matter  of  the  wheat.  It 
is  what  actually  happened  and  not  the  story  which  was 
told  to  Gomara,  who  also  says  other  things  which  I  will 
leave  unnoticed. 

To  go  back  to  my  subject :  Dona  Marina  knew  the 
language  of  Coatzacoalcos,  which  is  that  common  to 
Mexico,  and  she  knew  the  language  of  Tabasco,  as  did 
also  Jerónimo  de  Aguilar,  who  spoke  the  language  of 
Yucatan  and  Tabasco,  which  is  one  and  the  same.  So 
that  these  two  could  understand  one  another  clearly,  and 
Aguilar  translated  into  Castilian  for  Cortes. 

^  The   words  in  brackets  are  blotted  out  in    the  original   MS. 
-G.  G. 


This  was  the  great  beginning  of  our  conquests  and  thus, 
thanks  be  to  God,  things  prospered  with  us.  I  have  made 
a  point  of  explaining  this  matter,  because  without  the  help 
of  Dona  Marina  we  could  not  have  understood  the  language 
of  New  Spain  and  Mexico. 

Here  I  will  leave  off,  and  go  on  later  to  tell  how  we  dis- 
embarked in  the  Port  of  San  Juan  de  Ulúa. 




How  we  arrived  with  all  the  ships  at  San  Juan  de  Ulúa,  and  what 
happened  there. 

N  Holy  Thursday,  the  anniversary  of 
the  Last  Supper  of  Our  Lord,  in  the 
yeaf  1 5 19,  we  arrived  with  all  the 
fleet  at  the  Port  of  San  Juan  de  Uliia, 
and  as  the  Pilot  Alaminos  knew  the 
place  well  from  having  come  there 
with  Juan  de  Grijalva  he  at  once 
ordered  the  vessels  to  drop  anchor  where  they  would  be 
safe  from  the  northerly  gales.  The  flagship  hoisted  her 
royal  standards  and  pennants,  and  within  half  an  hour  of 
anchoring,  two  large  canoes  (which  in  those  parts  are 
called  piraguas)  came  out  to  us,  full  of  Mexican  Indians. 
Seeing  the  big  ship  with  the  standards  flying  they  knew 
that  it  was  there  they  must  go  to  speak  with  the  captain  ; 
so  they  went  direct  to  the  flagship  and  going  on  board 
asked  who  was  the  Tatuan^  which  in  their  language  means 
the  chief.  Dona  Marina  who  understood  the  language 
well,  pointed  him  out.    Then  the  Indians  paid  many  marks 

1  Tlatoan. 

SAN  JUAN   DE  ULUA.  1 37 

of  respect  to  Cortes,  according  to  their  usage,  and  bade 
him  welcome,  and  said  that  their  lord,  a  servant  of  the 
great  Montezuma,  had  sent  them  to  ask  what  kind  of  men 
we  were  and  of  what  we  were  in  search,  and  added  that  if 
we  were  in  need  of  anything  for  ourselves  or  the  ships,  that 
we  should  tell  them  and  they  would  supply  it  Our  Cortes 
thanked  them  through  the  two  interpreters,  Aguilar  and 
Doila  Marina,  and  ordered  food  and  wine  to  be  given  them 
and  some  blue  beads,  and  after  they  had  drunk  he  told 
them  that  we  came  to  see  them  and  to  trade  with  them 
and  that  our  arrival  in  their  country  should  cause  them  no 
uneasiness  but  be  looked  on  by  them  as  fortunate.  The 
messengers  returned  on  shore  well  content,  and  the  next 
day,  which  was  Good  Friday,  we  disembarked  with  the 
horses  and  guns,  on  some  sand  hills  which  rise  to  a 
considerable  height,  for  there  was  no  level  land,  nothing 
but  sand  dunes;  and  the  artilleryman  Mesa  placed  the 
guns  in  position  to  the  best  of  his  judgment  Then  we  set 
up  an  altar  where  mass  was  said  and  we  made  huts 
and  shelters  for  Cortes  and  the  captains,  and  three  hundred 
of  the  soldiers  brought  wood  and  made  huts  for  themselves 
and  we  placed  the  horses  where  they  would  be  safe  and  in 
this  way  was  Good  Friday  passed. 

The  next  day,  Saturday,  Easter  Eve,  many  Indians 
arrived  sent  by  a  chief  who  was  a  governor  under  Monte- 
"^uma,  named  Pitalpitoque  ^  (whom  we  afterwards  called 
Ovandillo),  and  they  brought  axes  and  dressed  wood  for 
the  huts  of  the  captain  Cortes  and  the  other  ranchos  near  to 
it,  and  covered  them  with  large  cloths  on  account  of  the 
strength  of  the  sun,  for  as  it  was  in  Lent  the  heat  was  very 
great — and  they  brought  fowls  and  maize  cakes  and  plums, 
which  were  then  in  season,  and  I  think  that  they  brought 

^  Pitaljpitoaue  »  Cuitlalpitoc,  who  had  been  sent  as  an  ambassador 
to  meet  Grijalva.     See  Orozco  y  Berra^  pp.  44  and  132,  vol.  iv. 


some  gold  jewels,  and  they  presented  all  these  things 
to  Cortes ;  and  said  that  the  next  day  a  governor  would 
come  and  would  bring  more  food.  Cortes  thanked  them 
heartily  and  ordered  them  to  be  given  certain  articles  in 
exchange  with  which  they  went  away  well  content.  The 
next  day,  Easter  Sunday,  the  governor  whom  they  spoke 
of  arrived.  His  name  was  Tendile,^  a  man  of  affairs,  and  he 
brought  with  him  Pitalpitoque  who  was  also  a  man  of 
importance  amongst  the  natives  and  there  followed  them 
many  Indians  with  presents  of  fowls  and  vegetables. 
Tendile  ordered  these  people  to  stand  aside  on  a  hillock 
and  with  much  humility  he  made  three  obeisances  to 
Cortes  according  to  their  custom,*  and  then  to  all  the 
soldiers  who  were  standing  around.  Cortes  bade  them 
welcome  through  our  interpreters  and  embraced  them  and 
asked  them  to  wait,  as  he  wished  presently  to  speak 
to  them.  Meanwhile  he  ordered  an  altar  to  be  made  as 
well  as  it  could  be  done  in  the  time,  and  Fray  Bartolomé 
de  Olmedo,  who  was  a  fine  singer,  chanted  Mass,  and 
Padre  Juan  Diaz'  assisted,  and  the  two  governors  and  the 
other  chiefs  who  were  with  them  looked  on.  When  Mass 
was  over,  Cortes  and  some  of  our  captains  and  the  two 
Indian  officers  of  the  great  Montezuma  dined  together. 
When  the  tables  had  been  cleared  away — Cortes  went 
aside  with  the  two  Caciques  and  our  two  interpreters  and 
explained  to  them  that  we  were  Christians  and  vassals 
of  the  greatest  lord  on  earth,  called  the  Emperor  Don 
Carlos,  who  had  many  great  princes  as  his  vassals  and 
servants,  and  that  it  was  at  his  orders  that  we  had  come  to 
this  country,  because  for  many  years  he  had  heard  rumours 

1  Teuhtlilli,  Governor  of  Cuetlaxtla  (Cotaxtla  of  modem  maps). 

*  Blotted  out  in  the  original—"  and  they  brought  much  incense  on 
live  coals  in  pottery  brasiers."— G.  G. 

*  Blotted  out  in  the  original— "  and  other  soldiers  who   helped 
him."— G.  G. 


about  the  country  and  the  great  prince  who  ruled  it.  That/ 
he  wished  to  be  friends  with  this  prince  and  to  tell  him . 
many  things  in  the  name  of  the  Emperor  which  things,, 
when  he  knew  and  understood  them,  would  please  him 
greatly.  Moreover  he  wished  to  trade  with  their  prince 
and  his  Indians  in  good  friendship,  and  he  wanted  to  know 
where  this  prince  would  wish  that  they  should  meet  so 
that  they  might  confer  together.  Tendile  replied  some- 
what proudly,  and  said — "  You  have  only  just  now  arrived 
and  you  already  ask  to  speak  with  our  prince  ;  accept  now 
this  present  which  we  give  you  in  his  name,  and  afterwards 
you  will  tell  me  what  you  think  fitting."  With  that  he 
took  out  a  petaca — which  is  a  sort  of  chest,  many  articles 
of  gold  beautifully  and  richly  worked  and  ordered  ten  loads 
of  white  cloth  made  of  cotton  and  feathers  to  be  brought, 
wonderful  things  to  see,  and  there  were  other  things  which 
I  do  not  remember,  besides  quantities  of  food  consisting  of 
fowls  of  the  country,^  fruit  and  baked  fish.  Cortes  received 
it  all  with  smiles  in  a  gracious  manner  and  gave  in  return* 
beads  of  twisted  glass  and  other  small  beads  from  Spain, 
and  he  begged  them  to  send  to  their  towns  to  ask  the 
people  to  come  and  trade  with  us  as  he  had  brought  many 
beads  to  exchange  for  gold,  and  they  replied  that  they 
would  do  as  he  asked.  As  we  afterwards  found  out,  these 
two  men,  Tendile  and  Pitalpitoque,  were  the  governors 
of  the  provinces  named  Cotustan,  Tustepeque,^  Guazpal- 
tepeque  and  Tatalteco,  and  of  some  other  townships  lately 
conquered.  Cortes  then  ordered  his  servants  to  bring  an 
arm-chair,  richly  carved  and  inlaid  and  some  margaritas? 
stones  with  many  [intricate]  designs  in  them,  and  a  string 

*  Turkeys,  Huajolotes  (Mex.). 

*  Cotaxtla,  Tuxtepec. 

'  Piedras  margaritas,  possibly  margajita ;   probably  mossagate  or 
lapis  lazuli. 


of  twisted  glass  beads*  packed  in  cotton  scented  with  musk 
and  a  crimson  cap  with  a  golden  medal  engraved  with 
a  figure  of  St  George  on  horseback,  lance  in  hand,  slaying 
the  dragon,  and  he  told  Tendile  that  he  should  send 
the  chair  to  his  prince  Montezuma  (for  we  already  knew 
that  he  was  so  called)  so  that  he  could  be  seated  in  it  when 
he,  Cortes,  came  to  see  and  speak  with  him,  and  that 
he  should  place  the  cap  on  his  head,  and  that  the  stones 
and  all  the  other  things  were  presents  from  our  lord 
the  King,  as  a  sign  of  his  friendship,  for  he  was  aware  that 
Montezuma  was  a  great  prince,  and  Cortes  asked  that 
a  day  and  a  place  might  be  named  where  he  could  go 
to  see  Montezuma.  Tendile  received  the  present  and  said 
that  his  lord  Montezuma  was  such  a  great  prince  that 
it  would  please  him  to  know  our  great  King  and  that 
he  would  carry  the  present  to  him  at  once  and  bring  back 
a  reply. 

It  appears  that  Tendile  brought  with  him  some  clever 
painters  such  as  they  had  in  Mexico  and  ordered  them 
to  make  pictures  true  to  nature  of  the  face  and  body  of 
Cortes  and  all  his  captains,  and  of  the  soldiers,  ships,  sails 
and  horses,  and  of  Dofta  Marina  and  Aguilar,  even  of  the 
two  greyhounds,  and  the  cannon  and  cannon  balls,  and  all 
of  the  army  we  had  brought  with  us,  and  he  carried 
the  pictures  to  his  master.  Cortes  ordered  our  gunners 
to  load  the  lombards  with  a  great  charge  of  powder  so  that 
they  should  make  a  great  noise  when  they  were  fired 
off,  and  he  told  Pedro  de  Alvarado  that  he  and  all  the 
horsemen  should  get  ready  so  that  these  servants  of 
Montezuma  might  see  them  gallop  and  told  them  to  attach 
little  bells  to  the  horses'  breastplates.  Cortes  also  mounted 
his  horse  and  said — "  It  would  be  well  if  we  could  gallop 
on  these  sand  dunes  but  they  will  observe  that  even  when 

^  Diamantes  torcidos. 


on  foot  we  get  stuck  in  the  sand — let  us  go  out  to  the 
beach  when  the  tide  is  low  and  gallop  two  and  two ;" — 
and  to  Pedro  de  Alvarado  whose  sorrel  coloured  mare  was 
a  great  galloper,  and  very  handy,  he  gave  charge  of  all  the 

All  this  was  carried  out  in  the  presence  of  the  two 
ambassadors,  and  so  that  they  should  see  the  cannon  fired, 
Cortes  made  as  though  he  wished  again  to  speak  to  them 
and  a  number  of  other  chieftains,  and  the  lombards  were 
fired  off,  and  as  it  was  quite  still  at  that  moment,  the 
stones  went  flying  through  the  forest  resounding  with  a 
great  din,  and  the  two  governors  and  all  the  other  Indians 
were  frightened  by  things  so  new  to  them,  and  ordered  the 
painters  to  record  them  so  that  Montezuma  might  see.  It 
happened  that  one  of  the  soldiers  had  a  helmet  half  gilt  but 
somewhat  rusty  and  this  Tendile  noticed,  for  he  was  the 
more  forward  of  the  two  ambassadors,  and  said  that  he 
wished  to  see  it  as  it  was  like  one  that  they  possessed  which 
had  been  left  to  them  by  their  ancestors  of  the  race  from 
which  they  had  sprung,  and  that  it  had  been  placed  on  the 
head  of  their  god — Huichilobos,^  and  that  their  prince 
Montezuma  would  like  to  see  this  helmet  So  it  was  given 
to  him,  and  Cortes  said  to  them  that  as  he  wished  to  know 
whether  the  gold  of  this  country  was  the  same  as  that  we 
find  in  our  rivers,  they  could  return  the  helmet  filled  with 
grains  of  gold  so  that  he  could  send  it  to  our  great 
Emperor.  After  this,  Tendile  bade  farewell  to  Cortes  and 
to  all  of  us  and  after  many  expressions  of  regard  from 
Cortes  he  took  leave  of  him  and  said  that  he  would  return 
with  a  reply  without  delay.  After  Tendile  had  departed 
we  found  out  that  besides  being  an  Indian  employed  in 
matters  of  great  importance,  Tendile  was  the  most  active 
of  the  servants  whom  his   master,  Montezuma,  had   in 

^  Huitzilopochtli. 


his  employ,  and  he  went  with  all  haste  and  narrated 
everything  to  his  prince,  and  showed  him  the  pictures 
which  had  been  painted  and  the  present  which  Cortes  had 
sent.  When  the  great  Montezuma  gazed  on  it  he  was 
struck  with  admiration  and  received  it  on  his  part  with 
satisfaction.  When  he  examined  the  helmet  and  that 
which  was  on  his  Huichilobos,  he  felt  convinced  that 
we  belonged  to  the  race  which,  as  his  forefathers  had 
foretold  would  come  to  rule  over  that  land.  It  is  here  that 
the  historian  Gomara  relates  many  things  which  were  not 
told  to  him  correctly. 

I  will  leave  off  here,  and  then  go  on  to  say  what  else 


How  Tendile  went  to  report  to  bis  Prince  Montezuma  and  to  carry 
the  present,  and  what  we  did  in  our  camp. 

When  Tendile  departed  with  the  present  which  the 
Captain  Cortes  gave  him  for  his  prince  Montezuma,  the 
other  governor,  Pitalpitoque,  stayed  in  our  camp  and 
occupied  some  huts  a  little  distance  from  ours,  and  they 
brought  Indian  women  there  to  make  maize  bread,  and 
brought  fowls  and  fruit  and  fish,  and  supplied  Cortes  and 
the  captains  who  fed  with  him.  As  for  us  soldiers,  if  we 
did  not  hunt  for  shell  fish  on  the  beach,  or  go  out  fishing, 
we  did  not  get  anything. 

About  that  time,  many  Indians  came  from  the  towns 
already  mentioned  by  me  over  which  these  two  servants  of 
Montezuma  were  governors,  and  some  of  them  brought 
gold  and  jewels  of  little  value,  and  fowls  to  exchange  with 
us  for  our  goods,  which  consisted  of  green  beads  and  clear 
glass  beads  and  other  articles,  and  with  this  we  managed 
to  supply  ourselves  with  food.  Almost  all  the  soldiers  had 
brought  things  for  barter,  as  we  learnt  in  Grijalva's  time 


that   it   was   a  good  thing  to  bring  beads — and  in  this 
manner  six  or  seven  days  passed  by. 

Then  one  morning,  Tendile  arrived  with  more  than  one 
hundred  laden  Indians,  accompanied  by  a  great  Mexican 
Cacique,  who  in  his  face,  features  and  appearance  bore 
a  strong  likeness  to  our  Captain  Cortes  and  the  great 
Montezuma  had  sent  him  purposely,  for  it  is  said  that 
when  Tendile  brought  the  portrait  of  Cortes  all  the  chiefs 
who  were  in  Montezuma's  company  said  that  a  great  chief 
named  Quintalbor  looked  exactly  like  Cortes  and  that  was 
the  name  of  the  Cacique  who  now  arrived  with  Tendile ; 
and  as  he  was  so  like  Cortes  we  called  them  in  camp  "  our 
Cortes"  and  "  the  other  Cortes."  To  go  back  to  my  story, 
when  these  people  arrived  and  came  before  our  Captain 
they  first  of  all  kissed  the  earth^  and  then  fumigated  him 
and  all  the  soldiers  who  were  standing  around  him,  with 
incense  which  they  brought  in  brasiers  of  pottery.  Cortes 
received  them  aflFectionately  and  seated  them  near  himself, 
and  that  chief  who  came  with  the  present  (who  I  have 
already  said  was  named  Quintalbor)  had  been  appointed 
spokesman  together  with  Tendile.  After  welcoming  us  to 
the  country  and  after  many  courteous  speeches  had  passed 
he  ordered  the  presents  which  he  had  brought  to  be  dis- 
played, and  they  were  placed  on  mats  which  they  call 
petates  over  which  were  spread  cotton  cloths.*  The  first 
article  presented  was  a  wheel  like  a  sun,  as  big  as  a  cart- 
wheel, with  many  sorts  of  pictures  on  it,  the  whole  of  fine 
gold,  and  a  wonderful  thing  to  behold,  which  those  who 
afterwards  weighed  it  said  was  worth  more  than  ten 
thousand  dollars.  Then  another  wheel  was  presented 
of   greater  size    made  of   silver    of  great    brilliancy   in 

'  On  seeing  Don  Hernando  Cortes  they  made  the  usual  obeisance, 
placing  the  forefinger  {dedo  mayor)  of  the  right  hand  on  the  ground 
and  raising  it  to  the  mouth,     {firozco  y  Berra,  vol.  iv,  p.  127.) 

^  See  Appendix  A.     Montezuma's  gifts  to  Cortes. 


imitation  of  the  moon  with  other  figures  shown   on  it, 
and  this  was  of  great  value  as  it  was  very  heavy — and 
the  chief  brought  back   the    helmet  full  of  fine  grains 
of  gold,  just  as  they  are  got  out  of  the  mines,  and  this 
was   worth   three   thousand   dollars.      This   gold    in  the 
helmet  was  worth  more  to  us  than  if  it   had   contained 
$20,000,  because  it  showed  us  that  there  were  good  mines 
there.     Then  were  brought  twenty  golden  ducks,  beauti- 
fully worked  and  very  natural  looking,  and  some  [orna- 
ments] like  dogs,  of  the  kind  they  keep,  and  many  articles 
of  gold   worked   in  the  shape  of  tigers  and    lions  and 
monkeys,  and  ten  collars  beautifully  worked   and   other 
necklaces  ;  and  twelve  arrows  and  a  bow  with  its  string, 
and  two  rods  like  staffs  of  justice,  five  palms  long,  all  in 
beautiful  hollow  work  of  fine  gold.      Then  there  were 
presented  crests  of  gold  and  plumes  of  rich  green  feathers, 
and  others  of  silver,  and  fans  of  the  same  materials,  and 
deer  copied  in  hollow  gold  and  many  other  things  that 
I  cannot  remember  for  it  all  happened  so  many  years  ago. 
And  then  over  thirty  loads  of  beautiful  cotton  cloth  were 
brought  worked  with  many  patterns  and   decorated  with 
many  coloured  feathers,  and  so  many  other  things  were  there 
that  it  is  useless  my  trying  to  describe  them  for  I  know  not 
how  to  do  it     When  all  these  things  had  been  presented, 
this  great  Cacique  Quintalbor  and  Tendile  asked  Cortes  to 
accept  this  present  with  the  same  willingness  with  which 
his  prince  had  sent  it,  and  divide  it  among  the  teules}  and 
men  who  accompanied  him.     Cortes  received  the  present 
with  delight  and  then  the  ambassadors  told  Cortes  that 
they  wished  to  repeat  what  their  prince,  Montezuma,  had 
sent  them  to  say.     First  of  all  they  told  him  that  he  was 
pleased  that  such  valiant  men,  as  he  had  heard  that  we 

^  Teules^  "for  so  they  call  the  Idols  which  they  worship."    See 
p.  172. 


were,  should  come  to  his  country,  for  he  knew  all  about 
what  we  had  done  at  Tabasco,  and  that  he  would  much 
like  to  see  our  great  emperor  who  was  such  a  mighty  prince 
and  whose  fame  was  spread  over  so  many  lands,  and  that 
he  would  send  him  a  present  of  precious  stones  ;  and  that 
meanwhile  we  should  stay  in  that  port ;  that  if  he  could 
assist  us  in  any  way  he  would  do  so  with  the  greatest 
pleasure ;  but  as  to  the  interview,  they  should  not  worry 
about   it;    that  there  was  no  need  for  it  and  they  (the 
ambassadors)  urged  many  objections.     Cortes  kept  a  good 
countenance,  and  returned  his  thanks  to  them,  and  with 
many  flattering  expressions  gave  each  of  the  ambassadors 
two  holland  shirts  and  some  blue  glass  beads  and  other 
things,  and  begged  them  to  go  back  as  his  ambassadors  to 
Mexico  and  to  tell  their  prince,  the  great  Montezuma,  that 
as  we  had  come  across  so  many  seas,  and  had  journeyed 
from  such  distant  lands  solely  to  see  and  speak  with  him 
in  person,  that  if  we  should  return  thus,  that  our  great  king 
and  lord  would  not  receive  us  well,  and  that  wherever  their 
prince  Montezuma  might  be  we  wished  to  go  and  see  him 
and  do  what  he  might  order  us  to  do.     The  ambassadors 
replied  that  they  would  go  back  and  give  this  message  to 
their  prince,  but  as  to  the  question  of  the  desired- interview 
— they  considered  it  superfluous.     By  these  ambassadors 
Cortes  sent  what  our  poverty  could  affprd  as  a  gift  to 
Montezuma :  a  glass  cup  of  Florentine  ware,  engraved  with 
trees  and  hunting  scenes  and  gilt,  and  three  holland  shirts 
and  other  things,  and  he  charged  the  messengers  to  bring 
a  reply.      The  two  governors   set   out  and   Pitalpitoque 
remained  in  camp ;  for  it  seems  that  the  other  servants  of 
Montezuma  had  given  him  orders  to  see  that  food  was 
brought  to  us  from  the  neighbouring  towns.     Here  I  will 
leave  off*,  and  then  go  on  to  tell  what  happened  in  our 



How  Cortes  sent  to  look  for  another  harbour  and  site  where  to  make 
a  settlement,  and  what  was  done  about  it. 

As  soon  as  the  messengers  had  been  sent  off  to  Mexico, 
Cortes  despatched  two  ships  to  go  and  explore  the  coast 
further  along,  and  placed  Francisco  de  Montejo  in  com- 
mand of  them  and  ordered  him  to  follow  the  course 
we  had  taken  with  Grijalva  (for  Montejo  had  accompanied 
us  during  Grijalva's  expedition)  and  to  seek  out  a  safe 
harbour,  and  search  for  lands  where  we  could  settle,  for  it 
was  clear  that  we  could  not  settle  on  those  sand  dunes, 
both  on  account  of  the  mosquitoes  and  the  distance  from 
other  towns.  Cortes  ordered  Alaminos  and  Juan  Alvarez 
el  Manquillo  to  go  as  pilots  as  they  knew  the  route,  and 
told  them  to  sail  as  far  along  the  coast  as  was  possible  in 
ten  days.  They  did  as  they  were  told  and  arrived  at  the 
Rio  Grande,  which  is  close  to  Panuco,^  which  we  had 
reached  during  the  expedition  under  the  Captain  Juan  de 
Grijalva.  They  were  not  able  to  proceed  any  further 
on  account  of  the  strong  currents.  Seeing  how  difficult 
the  navigation  had  become,  they  turned  round  and  made 
for  San  Juan  de  Uliia,  without  having  made  any  further 
progress,  or  having  anything  to  tell  us,  beyond  the  news 
that,  twelve  leagues  away,  they  had  seen  a  town  looking 
like  a  fortified  harbour  which  was  called  Quiahuitztlan,  and 
that  near  that  town  was  a  harbour  where  the  pilot  Alaminois 
thought  that  the  ships  would  be  safe  from  the  northerly 
gales.  He  gave  to  it  an  ugly  name,  that  of  Bernal,  for  it 
is  like  another  harbour  in  Spain  of  that  name.  In  these 
comings  and  goings  Montejo  was  occupied  ten  or  twelve 

1  The  expedition  under  Grijalva  did  not  pass  beyond  Cape  Rojo. 


I  must  now  go  back  to  say  that  the  Indian  Pitalpitoque, 
who  remained  behind  to  look  after  the  food,  slackened  his 
efforts  to  such  an  extent  that  no  provisions  reached  the 
camp  and  we  were  greatly  in  need  of  food,  for  the  cassava 
turned  sour  from  the  damp  and  rotted  and  became  foul 
with  weevils  and  if  we  had  not  gone  hunting  for  shell  fish 
we  should  have  had  nothing  to  eat.  The  Indians  who  used 
to  come  bringing  gold  and  fowls  for  barter,  did  not  come 
in  such  numbers  as  on  our  first  arrival  and  those  who  did 
come  were  very  shy  and  cautious  and  we  began  to  count 
the  hours  that  must  elapse  before  the  return  of  the 
messengers  who  had  gone  to  Mexico.  We  were  thus 
waiting  when  Tendile  returned  accompanied  by  many 
Indians,  and  after  having  paid  their  respects  in  the  usual 
manner  by  fumigating  Cortes  and  the  rest  of  us  with 
incense,  he  presented  ten  loads  of  fine  rich  feather  cloth^ 
and  four  chalchihuites,  which  are  green  stones  of  very  great 
value,  and  held  in  the  greatest  esteem  among  the  Indians, 
more  than  emeralds  are  by  us,  and  certain  other  gold 
articles.  Not  counting  the  chalchihuites,  the  gold  alone 
was  said  to  be  worth  three  thousand  dollars.  Then  Tendile 
and  Pitalpitoque  approached  (the  other  great  cacique, 
Quintalbor,  fell  ill  on  the  road  and  did  not  return)  and 
those  two  governors  went  aside  with  Cortes  and  Dona 
Manila  and  Aguilar,  and  reported  that  their  prince 
Montezuma  had  accepted  the  present  and  was  greatly 
pleased  with  it,  but  as  to  an  interview,  that  no  more 
should  be  said  about  it;  that  these  rich  stones  of  chal- 
chihuite  should  be  sent  to  the  great  Emperor  as  they  were 
of  the  highest  value,  each  one  being  worth  more  and 
being  esteemed  more  highly  than  a  great  load  of  gold,  and 
that  it  was  not  worth  while  to  send  any  more  messengers 
to  Mexico.  Cortes  thanked  the  messengers  and  gave  them 
presents,  but  it  was  certainly  a  disappointment  to  him 
to  be  told  so  distinctly  that  we  could  not  see  Montezuma, 

L  2 


.and  he  said  to  some  soldiers  who  happened  to  be  standing 
near :  "  Surely  this  must  be  a  gjreat  and  rich  prince,  and 
some  day,  please  God,  we  must  go  and  see  him"— and  the 
soldiers  answered :  "  We  wish  that  we  were  already  living 
with  him !" 

Let  us  now  leave  this  question  of  visits  and  relate  that 
it  was  now  the  time  of  the  Ave  Maria,  and  at  the  sound 
of  a  bell  which  we  had  in  the  camp  we  all  fell  on  our  knees 
before  a  cross  placed  on  a  sand  hill  and  said  our  prayers 
of  the  Ave  Maria  before  the  cross.  When  Tendile  and 
Fitalpitoque  saw  us  thus  kneeling,  as  they  were  very 
intelligent,  they  asked  what  was  the  reason  that  we 
humbled  ourselves  before  a  tree  cut  in  that  particular 
way.  As  Cortes  heard  this  remark  he  said  to  the  Padre 
de  la  Merced  who  was  present :  "  It  is  a  good  opportunity, 
father,  as  we  have  good  material  at  hand,  to  explain 
through  our  interpreters  matters  touching  our  holy  faith." 
then  he  delivered  a  discourse  to  the  Caciques  so 
I  fitting  to  the  occasion  that  no  good  theologian  could  have 
bettered  it  After  telling  them  that  we  were  Christians 
and  relating  all  the  matters  pertaining  to  our  holy  religion, 
he  told  them  that  their  idols  were  not  good  but  evil  things 
which  would  take  flight  at  the  presence  of  that  sign  of  the 
cross,  for  on  a  similar  cross  the  Lord  of  Heaven  and  earth 
and  all  created  things  suffered  passion  and  death ;  that  it 
is  He  whom  we  adore  and  in  whom  we  believe,  our  true 
God,  Jesus  Christ,  who  had  been  willing  to  suffer  and  die 
in  order  to  save  the  whole  human  race ;  that  the  third 
day  He  rose  again  and  is  now  in  heaven  ;  and  that  by  Him 
we  shall  all  be  judged.  Cortes  said  many  other  .things 
very  well  expressed,  which  they  thoroughly  understood, 
and  they  replied  that  they  would  report  them  to  their 
prince  Montezuma.  Cortes  also  told  them  that  one  of  the 
objects  for  which  our  great  Emperor  had  sent  us  to  their 
countries  W4S  to  abolish  human  sacrifices,  and  the  other 

,     inrou 
I  And 


evil  rites  which  they  practised  and  to  see  that  they  did  not 
rob  one  another,  or  worship  those  cursed  images.  And 
Cortes  prayed  them  to  set  up  in  their  city,  in  the  temples 
where  they  kept  the  idols  which  they  believed  to  be  gods,  a 
cross  like  the  one  they  saw  before  them,  and  to  set  up 
in  the  same  place  an  image  of  Our  Lady,  which  he  would 
give  them,  with  her  precious  son  in  her  arms,  and  they 
would  see  how  well  it  would  go  with  them,  and  what  our 
God  would  do  for  them.  However,  as  many  other  argu- 
ments were  used  and  as  I  do  not  know  how  to  write  them 
all  out  at  length  I  will  leave  the  subject  and  recall  to  mind 
that  on  this  latest  visit  many  Indians  came  with  Tendile, 
who  were  wishing  to  barter  articles  of  gold,  which,  how- 
ever, were  of  no  great  value.  So  all  the  soldiers  set  about 
bartering,  and  the  gold  which  we  gained  by  this  barter  we 
gave  to  the  sailors  who  were  out  fishing  in  exchange  for 
their  fish  so  as  to  get  something  to  eat,  for  otherwise 
we  often  underwent  great  privations  through  hunger. 
Cortes  was  pleased  at  this  although  he  pretended  not  to 
see  what  was  going  on,  and  many  of  the  servants  and 
friends  of  Diego  Velasquez  asked  him  why  he  did  not 
prevent  us  from  bartering.  What  happened  about  this 
I  will  tell  later. 


What  was  done  about  the  bartering  for  gold,  and  other  things 
that  took  place  in  camp. 

When  the  friends  of  Diego  Velasquez  saw  that  some  of 
us  soldiers  were  bartering  for  gold,  they  asked  Cortes  why 
he  permitted  it,  and  said  that  Diego  Velasquez  did  not 
send  out  the  expedition  in  order  that  the  soldiers  should 
carry  oflF  most  of  the  gold,  and  that  it  would  be  as  well  to 
issue   an   order  that  for  the   future   no  gold   should   be 


bartered  for  by  anyone  but  Cortes  himself  and  that  all  the 
gold  already  obtained  should  be  displayed  so  that  the 
royal  fifth  might  be  taken  from  it,  and  that  some  suitable 
person  should  be  placed  in  charge  of  the  treasury. 

To  all  this  Cortes  replied  that  all  they  said  was  good, 
and  that  they  themselves  should  name  that  person,  and 
they  chose  Gonzalo  Mejia.  When  this  had  been  done, 
Cortes  turned  to  them  with  angry  mien  and  said :  "Observe, 
gentlemen,  that  our  companions  are  suffering  great  hard- 
ships from  want  of  food,  and  it  is  for  this  reason  that 
we  ought  to  overlook  things,  so  that  they  may  all  find 
something  to  eat ;  all  the  more  so  as  the  amount  of  gold 
they  bargain  for  is  but  a  trifle, — and  God  willing,  we  are 
going  to  obtain  a  large  amount  of  it  However,  there  are 
two  sides  to  everything ;  the  order  has  been  issued  that 
bartering  for  gold  shall  cease,  as  you  desired  ;  we  shall  see 
next  what  we  will  get  to  eat" 

This  is  where  the  historian,  Gomara,  states  that  Cortes 
did  this  so  that  Montezuma  might  think  that  we  cared 
nothing  for  gold,  but  he  (Gomara)  was  not  well  informed, 
for  ever  •  since  the  event  of  Grijalva's  visit  to  the  Rio 
de  Banderas,  Montezuma  must  have  understood  well 
enough,  and  even  more  so  when  we  sent  the  helmet  to  him 
with  a  request  that  it  should  be  filled  with  gold  grains 
from  the  mines,  besides  they  had  seen  us  bargaining  and 
the  Mexicans  were  not  the  sort  of  people  to  misunderstand 
the  meaning  of  it  all. 

Let  us  drop  this  subject  then,  which  Gomara  says  he 
knows  about  because  "  they  told  him  so"  and  1  will  go  on 
to  relate  how,  one  morning,  we  woke  up  to  find  not  a 
single  Indian  in  any  of  their  huts,  neither  those  who  used 
to  bring  the  food,  nor  those  who  came  to  trade,  nor  Pital- 
pitoque  himself;  they  had  all  fled  without  saying  a  word. 
The  cause  of  this,  as  we  afterwards  learned,  was  that 
Montezuma  had  sent  orders  to  avoid  further  conversation 


with  Cortes  land  those  in  his  company ;  for  it  appears  that 
Montezuma  was  very  much  devoted  to  his  idols,  named 
Tezcatepuca,  and  Huichilobos,  the  latter  the  god  of  war, 
and  Tezcatepuca,  the  god  of  hell ;  and  daily  he  sacrificed 
youths  to  them  so  as  to  get  an  answer  from  the  gods  as  to 
what  he  should  do  about  us  ;  for  Montezuma  had  already 
formed  a  plan,  if  we  did  not  go  off  in  the  ships,  to  get  us 
all  into  his  power,  and  to  raise  a  breed  of  us^  and  also 
to  keep  us  for  sacrifice.  As  we  afterwards  found  out,  the 
reply  given  by  the  gods  was  that  he  should  not  listen  to 
Cortes,  nor  to  the  message  which  he  sent  about  setting 
up  a  cross  and  an  image  of  Our  Lady,  and  that  such 
things  should  not  be  brought  to  the  city.  This  was  the 
reason  why  the  Indians  left  our  camp  without  warning. 
When  we  heard  the  news  we  thought  that  they  meant 
to  make  war  on  us,  and  we  were  very  much  on  the  alert. 
One  day,  as  I  and  another  soldier  were  stationed  on  some 
sand  dunes  keeping  a  look  out,  we  saw  five  Indians  coming 
along  the  beach,  and  so  as  not  to  raise  a  scare  in  camp  over 
so  small  a  matter,  we  permitted  them  to  approach.  When 
they  came  up  to  us  with  smiling  countenances  they  paid 
us  homage  according  to  their  custom,  and  made  signs  that 
we  should  take  them  into  camp.  I  told  my  companion  to 
remain  where  he  was  and  I  would  accompany  the  Indians, . 
for  at  that  time  my  feet  were  not  as  heavy  as  they  are  now 
that  I  am  old,  and  when  we  came  before  Cortes  the  Indians 
paid  him  every  mark  of  respect  and  said  :  Lope  luzio,  lope 
luzio — which  in  the  Totonac  language  means:  "prince 
and  great  lord."  Thes2  men  had  large  holes  in  their  lower 
lips,  some  with  stone  disks  in  them  spotted  with  blue,  and 
others  with  thin  leaves  of  gold.  They  also  had  their  ears 
pierced  with  large  holes  in  which   were   placed  disks  of 

*  Blotted  out  in  the  original    MS. — With  which  to    make  war. 
— G.  G. 


Stone  or  gold,  and  in  their  dress  and  speech  they  diflfered 
greatly  from  the  Mexicans  who  had  been  sta3áng  with  us. 
When  DoSa  Marina  and  Aguilar,  the  Interpreterji,  heard 
the  word  Lcpe  luzio  they  did  not  understand  it,  and  Dona 
Marina  asked  in  Mexican  if  there  were  not  among  them 
Nahuatatos,  that  is,  interpreters  of  the  Mexican  language, 
and  two  of  the  five  answered  yes^  that  they  understood  and 
spoke  it,  and  they  bade  us  welcome  and  said  that  their  chief 
had  sent  them  to  ask  who  we  might  be,  and  that  it  would 
please  him  to  be  of  service  to  such  valiant  men,  for  it 
appeared  that  they  knew  about  our  doings  at  Tabasco  and 
Potonchan,  and  they  added  that  they  would  have  come  to 
see  us  before  but  for  fear  of  the  people  of  Culua  who  had 
been  with  us,  (by  Culua  they  meant  Mexicans,  as  we  might 
say  Cordovans,  or  rustics)  and  that  they  knew  that  three 
days  ago  they  had  fled  back  to  their  own  country,  and 
in  the  course  of  their  talk  Cortes  found  out  that  Monte- 
zuma had  opponents  and  enemies,  which  he  was  delighted 
to  hear,  and  after  flattering  these  five  messengers  and 
giving  them  presents  he  bade  them  farewell,  asking  them 
to  tell  their  chief  that  he  would  very  soon  come  and  pay 
them  a  visit.  From  this  time  on  we  called  those  Indians 
the  Lope  luzios.  I  must  leave  them  now  and  go  on  to  say 
that  in  those  sand  dunes  where  we  were  camped  there  were 
always  many  mosquitos,  both  long-legged  ones  and  small 
ones  which  are  called  xexenes  which  are  worse  than  the 
large  ones,  and  we  could  get  no  sleep  on  account  of  them. 
We  were  very  short  of  food  and  the  cassava  bread  was 
disappearing,  and  what  there  was  of  it  was  very  damp  and 
foul  with  weevils.  Some  of  the  soldiers  who  possessed 
Indians  in  the  Island  of  Cuba  were  continually  sighing  for 
their  homes,  especially  the  friends  and  servants  of  Diego 
Valásquez.  When  Cortes  noted  the  state  of  affairs  and  the 
wishes  of  these  men  he  gave  orders  that  we  should  go 
to  the  fortified  town  which  had  been  seen  by  Montejo  and  • 


the  pilot,  Alaminos,  named  Quiahuitztlan  where  the  ships 
would  be  under  the  protection  of  the  rock  which  I  have 
mentioned.  When  arrangements  were  being  made  for  us 
to  start,  all  the  friends,  relations  and  servants  of  Diego 
Velasquez  asked  Cortes  why  he  wanted  to  make  that 
journey  without  having  any  provisions,  seeing  that  there 
was  no  possibility  of  going  on  any  further  and  that  over 
thirty  five  soldiers  had  already  died  in  camp  from  wounds 
inflicted  at  Tabasco,  and  from  sickness  and  hunger ;  that 
the  country  we  were  in  was  a  great  one  and  the  settlements 
very  thickly  peopled  and  that  any  day  they  might  make 
war  on  us  ;  that  it  would  be  much  better  to  return  to 
Cuba  and  account  to  Diego  Velasquez  for  the  gold  gained 
in  barter,  which  already  amounted  to  a  large  sum,  and  the 
great  presents  from  Montezuma,  the  sun  and  the  silver 
moon  and  the  helmet  full  of  golden  grains  from  the  mines, 
and  all  the  cloths  and  jewels  already  mentioned  by  me. 
Cortes  replied  to  them  that  it  was  not  good  advice  to 
recommend  our  going  back  without  reason  ;  that  hitherto 
we  could  not  complain  of  our  fortune  and  should  give 
thanks  to  God  who  was  helping  us  in  everything,  and 
as  for  those  who  had  died,  that  that  always  happened  in 
wars  and  under  hardship  ;  that  it  would  be  as  well  to  find 
out  what  the  country  contained  ;  that  meanwhile  we  could 
eat  the  maize  and  other  food  held  by  the  Indians  and  by 
the  neighbouring  towns,  unless  our  hands  had  lost  their 
cunning.  With  this  reply,  the  partisans  of  Diego  Velas- 
quez were  somewhat,  but  not  wholly  appeased,  for  there 
were  already  cliques  formed  in  camp  who  discussed  the 
return  to  Cuba.  I  will  leave  off  here  and  then  go  on  to 
say  what  happened* 



How  we  raised  Hernando  Cortes  to  the  post  of  Captain  General  and 
Chief  Justice,  until  His  Majesty's  wishes  on  the  matter  should  b^ 
known,  and  what  was  done  about  it. 

I  HAVE  already  said  that  the  relations  and  friends  of  Di^o 
Velasquez  were  going  about  the  camp  raising  objections 
to  our  going  on  any  further  and  insisting  that  we  should 
return  at  once  from  San  Juan  de  Ulúa  to  the  Island  of 
Cuba.  It  appears  that  Cortes  had  already  talked  the 
matter  over  with  Alonzo  Hernandez  Puertocarrero,  and 
Pedro  de  Alvarado  and  his  four  brothers,  Jorge,  GonzaÍo« 
Gomez  and  Juan,  and  with  Cristobal  de  Olid,  Alonzo 
de  Ávila,  Juan  de  Escalante,  Francisco  de  Lugo,  and  with 
me  and  other  gentlemen  and  captains,  and  suggested  that 
we  should  beg  of  him  to  be  our  captain.  Francisco  de 
Montejo  understood  what  was  going  on  and  was  on  the 
watch.  One  night,  after  midnight,  Alonzo  Hernandez 
Puertocarrero,  Juan  de  Escalante  and  Francisco  de  Lugo, 
came  to  my  hut  Francisco  de  Lugo  and  I  came  from  the 
same  country  and  were  distant  kinsmen.  They  said  to 
me  :  "  Senor  Bernal  Diaz,  come  out  with  your  arms  and  go 
the  rounds ;  we  will  accompany  Cortes  who  is  just  now 
going  the  rounds."  When  I  was  a  little  distance  from  the 
hut  they  said  to  me  :  "  Look  to  it,  sir,  that  you  keep  secret 
for  a  time  what  we  wish  to  tell  you,  for  it  is  a  matter 
of  importance,  and  see  that  your  companions  in  your  hn% 
know  nothing  about  it,  for  they  are  of  the  party  of  Di^o 
Velasquez."  What  they  said  to  me  was:  "Sir,  does  it 
seem  to  you  to  be  right  that  Hernando  Cortes  should  have 
deceived  us  all  in  bringing  us  here,  he  having  proclaimed 
in  Cuba  that  he  was  coming  to  settle,  and  now  we  find  out 
that  he  has  no  power  to  do  so,  but  only  to  trade,  and  they 
want  us  to  return  to  Santiago  de  Cuba  with  all  the  gold 


that  has  been  collected,  and  we  shall  lose  our  all,  for  will 
not  Diego  Velasquez  take  all  the  gold  as  he  did  before  ? 
Look,  sir,  counting  this  present  expedition,  you  have 
already  come  to  this  country  three  times,  spending  your 
own  property  and  contracting  debts  and  risking  your  life 
many  times  with  the  wounds  you  have  received.  Many  of 
us  gentlemen  who  know  that  we  are  your  honour's  friends 
wish  you  to  understand  that  this  must  not  go  on  ;  that 
this  land  must  be  settled  in  the  name  of  His  Majesty,  and 
by  Hernando  Cortes  in  His  Majesty's  name,  while  we 
await  the  opportunity  to  make  it  known  to  our  lord  the 
King  in  Spain.  Be  sure,  sir,  to  cast  your  vote  so  that  all 
of  us  unanimously  and  willingly  choose  him  captain,  for 
it  will  be  a  service  to  God  and  our  lord  the  King."  I 
replied  that  it  was  not  a  wise  decision  to  return  to  Cuba 
and  that  it  would  be  a  good  thing  for  the  country  to  be 
settled  and  that  we  should  choose  Cortes  as  General  and 
Chief  Justice  until  his  Majesty  should  order  otherwise. 
This  agreement  passed  from  soldier  to  soldier  and  the 
friends  and  relations  of  Diego  Velasquez,  who  were  more 
numerous  than  we  were,  got  to  know  of  it,  and  with  over- 
bold words  asked  Cortes  why  he  was  craftily  arranging  to 
remain  in  this  country  instead  of  returning  to  render  an 
account  of  his  doings  to  the  man  who  had  sent  him  as 
captain,  and  they  told  him  that  Diego  Velasquez  would  net 
approve  of  it,  and  that  the  sooner  we  embarked  the  better  ; 
that  there  was  no  use  in  his  subterfuges  and  secret  meet- 
ings with  the  soldiers,  for  we  had  neither  supplies  nor  men^ 
nor  any  possibility  of  founding  a  settlement  Cortes 
answered  without  a  sign  of  anger,  and  said  that  he  agreed 
with  them  ;  that  he  would  not  go  against  the  instructions 
and  notes  which  he  had  received  from  Diego  Velasquez, 
and  he  issued  an  order  for  us  all  to  embark  on  the 
following  day,  each  one  in  the  ship  in  which  he  had  come. 
We  who  had  made  the  agreement  answered  that  it  was 


not  fair  to  deceive  us  so,  that  in  Cuba  he  had  proclaimed 
that  he  was  coming  to  make  a  settlement,  whereas  he  had 
only  come  to  trade ;  and  we  demanded  on  behalf  of  our 
Lord  God  and  of  His  Majesty  that  he  should  at  once  form 
a  settlement  and  give  up  any  other  plan,  because  that 
would  be  of  the  greatest  benefit  and  service  to  God  and 
the  King ;  and  they  placed  many  other  well-reasoned 
arguments  before  him  saying  that  the  natives  would  never 
let  us  land  again  as  they  had  done  this  time,  and  that 
as  soon  as  a  settlement  was  made  in  the  country  soldiers 
would  gather  in  from  all  the  islands  to  give  us  help  and 
that  Velasquez  had  ruined  us  all  by  stating  publicly  that 
he  had  received  a  decree  from  His  Majesty  to  form  a 
settlement,  the  contrary  being  the  case  ;  that  we  wished  to 
form  a  settlement,  and  to  let  those  depart  who  desired 
to  return  to  Cuba.  So  Cortes  agreed  to  it,  although  he  pre- 
tended to  need  much  begging,  as  the  saying  goes  :  "  You 
are  very  pressing,  and  I  want  to  do  it,"^ — and  he  stipulated 
that  we  should  make  him  Chief  Justice  and  Captain  General, 
and  the  worst  of  all  that  we  conceded  was  that  we  should 
give  him  a  fifth  of  all  the  gold  which  should  be  obtainedi 
after  the  royal  fifth  had  been  deducted,  and  then  we  gave 
him  the  very  fullest  powers  in  the  presence  of  the  King's 
Notary,  Diego  de  Godoy,  embracing  all  that  I  have  here 
stated.  We  at  once  set  to  work  to  found  and  settle  a 
town,  which  was  called  the  "  Villa  rica  de  la  Vera  Cruz" 
because  we  arrived  on  Thursday  of  the  (last)  supper  and 
landed  on  "  Holy  Friday  of  the  Cross"  and  "  rich"  because 
of  what  that  gentleman  said,  as  I  have  related  in  a  former 
chapter  (xxvi)  who  approached  Cortes  and  said  to  him : 
"  Behold  rich  lands  1  May  you  know  how  to  govern  them 
well  ! "    and   what  he   wanted    to  say   was — "  May  you 

*  "  Tu  me  lo  ruegas  y  yo  me  lo  quiero." 


remain  as  their  Captain  General."    That  gentleman  was 
Alonzo  Hernandez  Puertocarrero. 

To  go  back  to  my  story  :  as  soon  as  the  town  was 
founded  we  appointed  alcaldes  and  regidores ;  the  former 
were  Alonzo  Hernandez  Puertocarrero  and  Francisco 
Montejo.  In  the  case  of  Montejo,  it  was  because  .he 
was  not  on  very  good  terms  with  Cortes  that  Cortes 
ordered  him  to  be  named  as  Alcalde,  so  as  to  place 
him  in  the  highest  position.  I  need  not  give  the  names 
of  the  Regidores,  for  it  is  no  use  naming  only  a  few 
of  them  ;  but  I  must  mention  the  fact  that  a  pillory  was 
placed  in  the  Plaza  and  a  gallows  set  up  outside  the 
town.  We  chose  Pedro  de  Alvarado  as  captain  of  ex- 
peditions and  Cristobal  de  Olid  as  Maestro  de  Campo.^ 
Juan  de  Escalante  was  chosen  chief  Alguacil  f  Gonzalo 
Mejia,  treasurer,  and  Alonzo  de  Ávila  accountant.  A 
certain  Corral  was  named  as  Ensign,  because  Villaroel 
who  had  been  Ensign  was  dismissed  from  the  post  on 
account  of  some  offence  (I  do  not  exactly  know  what)  he 
had  given  Cortes  about  an  Indian  woman  from  Cuba. 
Ochoa,  a  Biscayan,  and  Alonzo  Romero  were  appointed 
Alguaciles  of  the  Camp.* 

It  will  be  said  that  I  have  made  no  mention  of  the 
Captain  Gonzalo  de  Sandoval,  he  of  whom  our  lord  the 
Emperor  has  heard  such  reports,  who  was  such  a  renowned 
captain  that  he  ranked  next  to  Cortes*  in  our  estimation. 
I  say  this  was  because  at  that  time  he  was  a  youth,  and  we 
did  not  take  such  count  of  him  and  of  other  valiant 
captains  until  we  saw  him  grow  in  worth  in  such  a  way 
that  Cortes  and  all  the  soldiers  held  him  in  the  same 
esteem  as  Cortes  himself,  as  I  shall  tell  later  on. 

*  Maestro  de  Campo= Quartermaster. 

*  Alguacil  Mayor  =  High  Constable. 

'  Alguacil  del  Real  =  Constables  and  storekeepers. 

*  Blotted  out  in  the  original :  "  y  Pedro  de  Alvarado."— G.  G. 


I  must  leave  my  story  here  and  say  that  the  historian, 

Gomara,  states  that  he  was  told  all  that  which  he  has 

written  down.    But  I  assert  that  these  things  happened  as 

I  have  related  them.    Gomara  is  wrong  in  other  things 

,that  he  wrote  because  his  informants  did  not  give  him 

.a  true  account.     However  good  the  style  may  be  in  which 

!  he  tells  the  story,  so  that  all  may  appear  to  be  true,  I 

j  assert  that  all  he  says  about  this  matter  is  wrong. 

I  will  drop  the  subject  now  and  go  on  to  tell  how  the 
party  of  Diego  Velasquez  tried  to  stop  the  election  of 
Cortes  as  captain,  and  to  insist  on  our  returning  to  the 
Island  of  Cuba. 


How  the  party  of  Diego  Velasquez  tried  to  upset  the  powers  we  had 
given  to  Cortes,  and  what  was  done  about  it. 

When  the  partisans  of  Diego  Velasquez  realized  the  fact 
that  we  had  chosen  Cortes  for  our  Captain  and  Chief 
Justice,  and  had  founded  a  town  and  chosen  the  Alcaldes 
and  Regidores,  and  appointed  Pedro  de  Alvarado  as  cap- 
tain [of  expeditions]  and  named  the  Alguacil  Mayor  and 
Maestro  de  Campo  and  had  done  all  that  I  have  narrated, 
they  were  angry  and  furious  and  they  began  to  excite 
factions  and  meetings  and  to  use  abusive  language  about 
Cortes  and  those  of  us  who  had  elected  him,  saying  that  it 
was  not  right  to  do  these  things  unless  all  the  captains  and 
soldiers  who  had  come  on  the  expedition  had  been  parties 
to  it ;  that  Diego  Velasquez  had  given  Cortes  no  such 
powers,  only  authority  to  trade,  and  that  we  partisans  of 
Cortes  should  take  care  that  our  insolence  did  not  so 
increase  as  to  bring  us  to  blows.  Then  Cortes  secretly 
told  Juan  de  Escalante  that  we  should  make  him  pro- 
duce  the    instructions   given   him   by   Diego  Velasquez. 


Upon  this  Cortes  drew  them  from  his  bosom  and  gave 
them  to  the  King's  scribe  to  read  aloud.  In  these  instruc- 
tions were  the  words :  "  As  soon  as  you  have  gained  all 
you  can  by  trading,  you  will  return,"  and  the  document 
was  signed  by  Diego  Velasquez  and  countersigned  by  his 
Secretary,  Andres  de  Duero.  We  begged  Cortes  to  cause 
this  document  to  be  attached  to  the  deed  recording  the 
power  we  had  given  him,  as  well  as  the  proclamation  which 
he  issued  in  the  Island  of  Cuba.  And  this  was  done  so 
that  his  Majesty  in  Spain  should  know  that  all  that  we  did 
was  done  in  his  royal  service,  and  that  they  should  not 
bring  against  us  anything  but  the  truth  ;  and  it  was  a  good 
precaution,  seeing  how  we  were  treated  in  Spain  by  Don 
Juan  Rodriguez  de  Fonseca,  Bishop  of  Burgos  and  Arch- 
bishop of  Rosano  (for  such  were  his  titles)  who,  we  knew 
for  certain,  took  steps  to  destroy  us  as  I  shall  tell  later  on. 
After  this  was  done,  these  same  friends  and  dependents 
of  Diego  Velasquez  returned  to  Cortes  to  say  that  it  was 
not  right  that  he  should  have  been  chosen  Captain  without 
their  consent  and  that  they  did  not  wish  to  remain  under 
his  command,  but  to  return  at  once  to  the  Island  of  Cuba. 
Cortes  replied  that  he  would  detain  no  one  by  force,  and 
that  to  anyone  who  came  to  ask  leave  to  return,  he  would 
willingly  grant  it,  even  although  he  were  left  alone.  With 
this  some  of  them  were  quieted,  but  not  Juan  Velasquez  de 
Leon  who  was  a  relation  of  Diego  Velasquez,  and  Diego 
de  Ordás^  and  Escobar,  whom  we  called  the  Page,  for  he 
had  been  brought  up  by  Diego  Velasquez,  and  Pedro 
Escudero  and  other  friends  of  Diego  Velasquez ;  and  it 
came  to  this,  that  they  refused  all  obedience  to  Cortes. 
With  our  assistance,  Cortes  determined  to  make  prisoners 
of  Juan  Velasquez  de  Leon,  and  Diego  de  Ordás,  and 
Escobar  the  Page,  and  Pedro  Escudero  and  others  whose 
names  I  do  not  remember,  and  we  took  care  that  the 
others   should  create   no   disturbance.      These    men    re- 


mained    prisoners   for  some  days,  in   chains   and   under 
guard.  Í 

I  will  go  on  to  tell  how  Pedro  de  Alvarado  made  an 
expedition  to  a  town  in  the  neighbourhood.  Here^  the 
chronicler,  Gomara,  in  his  history  gives  quite  a  wrong 
account  of  what  happened,  and  whoever  reads  his  history 
will  see  that  his  story  is  greatly  exaggerated,  had  he  been 
correctly  informed  he  would  have  related  what  [really] 
took  place. 


How  it  was  arranged  to  send  Pedro  de  Alvarado  inland  to  look  for 
maize  and  other  supplies  and  what  else  happened. 

When  all  that  I  have  related  had  been  settled  and  done 
with,  it  was  arranged  that  Pedro  de  Alvarado  should  go 
inland  to  some  towns  which  we  had  been  told  were  near 
by  and  see  what  the  country  was  like  and  bring  back 
maize  and  some  sort  of  supplies,  for  there  was  a  great  want 
of  food  in  camp.  Alvarado  took  one  hundred  soldiers  with 
him,  among  them  fifteen  crossbowmen  and  six  musketeers. 
More  than  half  his  soldiers  were  partisans  of  Diego  Velas- 
quez. All  Cortes'  party  remained  with  him  for  fear  there 
should  be  any  further  disturbance  or  tricks  played  or  any 
rising  against  him,  until  things  became  more  settled. 

Alvarado  went  first  to  some  small  towns  subject  to 
another  town  called  Cotastan,^  where  the  language  of 
Culua  was  spoken.  This  name,  Culua,  in  this  country 
means  the  common  language  of  the  partisans  of  Mexico 
and  Montezuma ;  so  that  in  all  that  country  when  Culua 
is  mentioned,  it  means  people  vassal  and  subject  to  Mexico, 
and  must  be  thus  understood,  just  as  we  should  speak 
of  the  Romans  and  their  allies. 

>  Cotaxtla. 


When  Pedro  de  Alvarado  reached  these  towns  he  found 
that  they  had  all  been  deserted  that  same  day,  and  he 
found  in  the  cues  bodies  of  men  and  boys  who  had  been 
sacrificed,  and  the  walls  and  altars  stained  with  blood  and 
the  hearts  placed  as  offerings  before  the  Idols.  He  also 
found  the  stones  on  which  the  sacrifices  were  made  and  the 
stone  knives  with  which  to  open  the  chest  so  as  to  take 
out  the  heart 

Pedro  de  Alvarado  said  that  he  found  most  of  the  bodies 
without  arms  or  legs,  and  that  he  was  told  by  some  Indians 
that  they  had  been  carried  off  to  be  eaten,  and  our  soldiers 
were  astounded  at  such  great  cruelty.  I  will  not  say  any 
more  of  the  number  of  sacrifiges,  although  we  found  the 
same  thing  in  every  town  we  afterwards  entered,  and  I 
will  go  back  to  Pedro  de  Alvarado  and  say  that  he  found 
the  towns  well  provisioned  but  deserted  that  very  day  by 
their  inhabitants,  so  that  he  could  not  find  more  than  two 
Indians  to  carry  maize,  and  each  soldier  had  to  load  him- 
self with  poultry  and  vegetables,  and  he  returned  to  camp 
without  doing  any  other  damage  (although  he  had  good 
opportunity  for  doing  it)  because  Cortes  had  given  orders 
to  that  effect,  so  that  there  should  be  no  repetition  of 
what  happened  at  Cozumel. 

We  were  pleased  enough  in  camp  even  with  the  little 
food  that  had  been  brought,  for  all  evils  and  hardships 
disappear  when  there  is  plenty  to  eat. 

Here  it  is  that  the  historian,  Gomara,  says  that  Cortes 
went  inland  with  four  hundred  soldiers.  He  was  mis- 
informed, for  the  first  to  go  was  [Alvarado]  as  I  have 
stated  here,  and  no  other. 

To  go  back  to  my  story :  As  Cortes  was  most  energetic 
in  every  direction,  he  managed  to  make  friends  with  the 
partisans  of  Diego  Velasquez,  for,  with  that  solvent  of 
hardness,  presents  of  gold  from  our  store  to  some,  and 
promises  to  others,  he  brought  them  over  to  his  side,  and 



took  them  out  of  prison ;  all  except  Juan  Velasquez  de 
Leon  and  Diego  de  Ordás,  who  were  in  irons  on  board 
ship.  These,  too,  he  let  out  of  prison  after  a  few  days,  and 
made  good  and  true  friends  of  them  as  will  be  seen  further 
on, — ^and  all  through  gold  which  is  such  a  pacifier  ! 

When  everything  had  been  settled,  we  arranged  to  go  to 
the  fortified  town  already  mentioned  by  me,  which  was 
called  Quiahuitztlan.  The  ships  were  to  go  to  the  rock 
and  harbour  which  was  opposite  that  town,  about  a  league 
distant  from  it  I  remember  that  as  we  marched  along 
the  coast  we  killed  a  large  fish  which  had  been  thrown  up 
high  and  dry  by  the  sea.  When  we  arrived  at  the  river 
where  Vera  Cruz  is  now  situated^  we  found  the  water  to  be 
deep,  and  we  crossed  over  it  in  some  broken  canoes  like 
troughs,  and  others  crossed  by  swimming,  or  on  rafts. 

Then  we  came  on  some  towns  subject  to  the  large  town 
named  Cempoala,  whence  came  the  five  Indians  with  the 
golden  labrets,  who  I  have  already  said  came  as  messengers 
to  Cortes  at  the  sand  dunes,  and  whom  we  called  Lope 
luzios.  We  found  some  idol  houses  and  places  of  sacrifice, 
and  blood  splashed  about,  and  incense  used  for  fumigation 
and  other  things  belonging  to  the  idols,  and  stones  with 
which  they  made  the  sacrifices,  and  parrots'  feathers  and 
many  paper  books  doubled  together  in  folds  like  Spanish 
cloth  ;  but  we  found  no  Indians,  they  having  already  fled, 
for  as  they  had  never  before  seen  men  like  us,  nor  horses, 
they  were  afraid. 

We  slept  there  that  night,  and  went  without  supper,  and 
next  day,  leaving  the  coast,  we  continued  our  march  inland 
towards  the  west,  without  knowing  the  road  we  were 
taking,  and  we  came  on  some  good  meadows  called 
savanas  where  deer  were  grazing,  and  Pedro  de  Alvarado 
rode  after  one  on  his  sorrel  mare  and  struck  at  it  with  his 

^  The  third  site,  now  known  as  La  Antigua, 


lance  and  wounded  it,  but  it  got  away  into  the  woods  and 
could  not  be  caught. 

While  this  was  happening  we  saw  twelve  Indians  ap- 
proaching, inhabitants  of  the  farms  where  we  had  passed 
the  night.  They  came  straight  from  their  Cacique,  and 
brought  fowls  and  maize  cakes,  and  they  said  to  Cortes, 
through  our  interpreters,  that  their  chief  had  sent  the 
fowls  for  us  to  eat,  and  begged  us  to  come  to  his  town, 
which  was,  according  to  the  signs  they  made,  distant  one 
sun's  (that  is  one  day's)  march. 

Cortes  thanked  them  and  made  much  of  them,  and  we 
continued  our  march  and  slept  in  another  small  town, 
where  also  many '  sacrifices  had  been  made,  but  as  my 
readers  will  be  tired  of  hearing  of  the  great  number  of 
Indian  men  and  women  whom  we  found  sacrificed  in  all 
the  towns  and  roads  we  passed,  I  shall  go  on  with  my 
story  without  stopping  to  say  any  more  about  them. 

They  gave  us  supper  at  the  little  town  and  we  learnt 
that  the  road  to  Quiahuitztlan,  which  I  have  already  said 
is  a  fortress,  passed  by  Cempoala.  I  will  go  on  to  say  how 
we  entered  Cempoala. 


How  we  entered  Cempoala,  which  at  that  time  was  a  very  fine  town 
and  what  happened  to  us  there. 

We  slept  at  the  little  town  where  the  twelve  Indians  I 
have  mentioned  had  prepared  quarters  for  us,  and  after 
being  well  informed  about  the  road  which  we  had  to  take 
to  reach  the  town  on  the  hill,  very  early  in  the  morning  we 
sent  word  to  the  Caciques  of  Cempoala  that  we  were 
coming  to  their  town  and  that  we  hoped  they  would 
approve.    Cortes  sent  six  of  the  Indians  with  this  message 

M  2 


and  kept  the  other  six  as  guides.  He  also  ordered  the 
guns,  muskets  and  crossbows  to  be  kept  ready  for  use,  and 
sent  scouts  on  ahead  on  the  look  out,  and  the  horsemen 
and  all  the  rest  of  us  were  kept  on  the  alert,  and  in  this 
way  we  marched  to  within  a  league  of  the  town.  As  we 
approached,  twenty  Indian  chieftains  came  out  to  receive 
us  in  the  name  of  the  Cacique,  and  brought  some  cones 
made  of  the  roses  of  the  country  with  a  delicious  scent, 
which  they  gave  to  Cortes  and  those  on  horseback  with 
every  sign  of  friendliness,  and  they  told  Cortes  that  their 
Lord  was  awaiting  us  at  our  apartments,  for,  as  he  was  a 
very  stout  and  heavy  man,  he  could  not  come  out  to 
receive  us  himself.  Cortes  thanked  them  and  we  continued 
our  march,  and  as  we  got  among  the  houses  and  saw  what 
a  large  town  it  was,  larger  than  any  we  had  yet  seen, 
we  were  struck  with  admiration.  It  looked  like  a  garden 
with  luxuriant  vegetation,  and  the  streets  were  so  full  of 
men  and  women  who  had  come  to  see  us,  that  we  gave 
thanks  to  God  at  having  discovered  such  a  country. 

Our  scouts,  who  were  on  horseback,  reached  a  great 
plaza  with  courts,  where  they  had  prepared  our  quarters, 
and  it  seems  that  during  the  last  few  days  they  had  been 
whitewashed  and  burnished,  a  thing  they  knew  well  how 
to  do,  and  it  seemed  to  one  of  the  scouts  that  this 
white  surface  which  shone  so  brightly  must  be  silver  and  he 
came  back  at  full  speed  to  tell  Cortes  that  the  walls  of  the 
houses  were  made  of  silver !  Dona  Marina  and  Aguilar 
said  that  it  must  be  plaster  or  lime  and  we  had  a  good 
laugh  over  the  man^s  silver  and  excitement  and  always 
afterwards  we  told  him  that  everything  white  looked  to 
him  like  silver.  I  will  leave  our  jokes  and  say  that  we 
reached  the  buildings,  and  the  fat  Cacique  came  out  to 
receive  us  in  the  court.  He  was  so  fat  that  I  shall  call 
him  by  this  name  ;  and  he  made  deep  obeisance  to  Cortes 
and  fumigated  him,  as  is  their  custom,  and  Cortes  embraced 


him  and  we  were  lodged  in  fine  and  large  apartments  that 
held  us  all,  and  they  gave  us  food  and  brought  some 
baskets  of  plums  which  were  very  plentiful  at  that  season, 
and  maize  cakes,  and  as  we  arrived  ravenous  and  had  not 
seen  so  much  food  for  a  long  time,  we  called  the  town 
Villa  Viciosa ;  and  others  called  it  Sevilla. 

Cortes  gave  orders  that  none  of  the  soldiers  should  leave 
the  plaza  and  that  on  no  account  should  they  give  any 
offence  to  the  Indians.  When  the  fat  Cacique  heard  that 
we  had  finished  eating  he  sent  to  tell  Cortes  that  he  wished 
to  come  and  visit  him  ;  and  he  came  in  company  with  a 
great  number  of  Indian  chieftains,  all  wearing  large  gold 
labrets  and  rich  mantles.  Cortes  left  his  quarters  to  go  out 
and  meet  them,  and  embraced  the  Cacique  with  great  show 
of  caressing  and  flattery,  and  the  fat  Cacique  ordered  a 
present  to  be  brought  which  he  had  prepared,  consisting  of 
gold,  jewels  and  cloths  ;  but  although  it  did  not  amount  to 
much  and  was  of  little  value  he  ^aíd  to  Cortes  :  "  Lope 
luzio^  Lope  luzioy  accept  this  in  good  part ;  if  I  had 
more  I  would  give  it  to  you !  *'  I  have  already  said  that 
in  the  Totonac  language  Lope  luzio  means  Senor  or  great 

Cortes  replied  through  Dofta  Marina  and  Aguilar  that 
he  would  pay  for  the  gift  in  good  works,  and  that  if  the 
Cacique  would  tell  him  what  he  wanted  to  be  done  that  he 
would  do  it  for  them  for  we  were  the  vassals  of  a  great 
prince,  the  Emperor  Don  Carlos,  who  ruled  over  many 
kingdoms  and  countries,  and  had  sent  us  to  redress 
grievances  and  punish  evil  doers,  and  to  put  an  end  to 
human  sacrifices.  And  he  explained  to  them  many  things 
touching  our  holy  religion.  When  the  fat  Cacique  heard 
this,  he  sighed,  and  complained  bitterly  of  the  great  Mon- 
tezuma and  his  governors  saying  that  he  had  recently  been 
brought  under  his  yoke ;  that  all  his  golden  jewels  had 
been  carried  off,  and  he  and  his  people  were  so  grievously 


oppressed,  that  they  dared  do  nothing  without  Monte- 
zuma's orders,  for  he  was  the  Lord  over  many  cities  and 
countries  and  ruled  over  countless  vassals  and  armies 
of  warriors. 

As  Cortes  knew  that  he  could  not  attend  at  that  time  to 
the  complaints  which  they  made,  he  replied  that  he  would 
see  to  it  that  they  were  relieved  of  their  burdens,  that 
he  was  now  on  the  way  to  visit  his  AcaUs  (for  so  they 
call  the  ships  in  the  Indian  language)  and  take  up  his 
residence  and  make  his  headquarters  in  the  town  of 
Quiahuitztlan,  and  that  as  soon  as  he  was  settled  there  he 
would  consider  the  matter  more  thoroughly.  To  this 
the  fat  Cacique  replied  that  he  was  quite  satisfied  that  it 
should  be  so. 

The  next  morning  we  left  Cempoala,  and  there  were 
awaiting  our  orders  over  four  hundred  Indian  carriers,  who 
are  here  called  tamenes  who  carry  fifty  pounds  weight  on 
their  backs  and  march  five  leagues  with  it.  When  we  saw 
so  many  Indians  to  carry  burdens  we  rejoiced,  as  before 
this,  those  of  us  who  had  not  brought  Indians  with  us  from 
Cuba  had  to  carry  knapsacks  on  our  own  backs.  And 
only  six  or  seven  Cubans  had  been  brought  in  the  fleet, 
and  not  a  great  number  as  Gomara  asserts.  Dona  Marina 
and  Aguilar  told  us  that  in  these  parts  in  times  of  peace 
the  Caciques  are  bound  to  furnish  tamenes  to  carry  burdens, 
as  a  matter  of  course,  and  from  this  time  forward  wherever 
we  went  we  asked  for  Indians  to  carry  loads. 

Cortes  took  leave  of  the  fat  Cacique,  and  on  the  following 
day  we  set  out  on  our  march  and  slept  at  a  little  town 
which  had  been  deserted  near  to  Quiahuitztlan,  and  the 
people  of  Cempoala  brought  us  food.  The  historian, 
Gomara,  says  that  Cortes  remained  many  days  in  Cempoala 
and  planned  a  league  and  rebellion  against  Montezuma, 
but  he  was  not  correctly  informed,  because,  as  I  have  said, 
we  left  Cempoala  on  the  following  morning,  and  where  the 


rebellion  was  planned  and  what  was  the  reason  of  it,  I  will 
relate  further  on. 

I  will  pause  here  and  go  on  to  tell  how  we  entered 


How  we  entered  Quiahuitztlan,  which  was  a  fortified  town,  and  were 
peaceably  received. 

The  next  day  about  ten  o'clock  we  reached  the  fortified 
town  called  Quiahuitztlan,  which  stands  amid  great  rocks 
and  lofty  cliffs  and  if  there  had  been  any  resistance  it 
would  have  been  very  difficult  to  capture  it.  Expecting 
that  there  would  be  fighting  we  kept  a  good  formation  with 
the  artillery  in  front  and  marched  up  to  the  fortress  in  such 
a  manner  that  if  anything  had  happened  we  could  have 
done  our  duty. 

At  this  time,  Alonzo  de  Avila  was  acting  as  captain,  and 
as  he  was  arrogant  and  bad  tempered,  when  a  soldier 
named  Hernando  Alonzo  de  Villanueva  failed  to  keep  his 
place  in  the  ranks,  he  gave  him  a  thrust  with  a  lance  in  his 
arm  which  maimed  him  ;  and  after  this  Hernando  Alonzo 
de  Villanueva  was  always  called  "  El  Manquillo."^  It  will 
be  said*  that  I  am  always  turning  aside  to  tell  old  stories, 
so  I  must  leave  off  and  go  on  to  say  that  we  went  half  way 
through  the  town  without  meeting  a  single  Indian  to  speak 
to,  at  which  we  were  very  much  surprised,  for  they  had  fled 
in  fear  that  very  day  when  they  had  seen  us  climbing  up  to 
their  houses.  When  we  had  reached  the  top  of  the  fortress 
in  the  plaza  near  by  where  they  had  their  cues  and  great 
idol  houses,  we  saw  fifteen  Indians  awaiting  us  all  clad  in 
good  mantles,  and  each  one  with  a  brasier  in  his  hand 

^  £1  Manquillo  »  the  one  armed  or  the  maimed. 


containing  incense,  and  they  came  to  where  Cortes  was 
standing  and  fumigated  him  and  all  the  soldiers  who  were 
standing  near  and  with  deep  obeisances  they  asked  pardon 
for  not  coming  out  to  meet  us,  and  assured  us  that  we 
were  welcome  and  asked  us  to  rest.  And  they  said  that 
they  had  fled  and  kept  out  of  the  way  until  they  could  see 
what  sort  of  things  we  were,  for  they  were  afraid  of  us  and 
of  our  horses,  but  that  night  they  v^ould  order  all  the  people 
to  come  back  to  the  town. 

Cortes  displayed  much  friendship  toward  them  and  told 
them  many  things  about  our  holy  religion  ;  this  we  were 
always  in  the  habit  of  doing  wherever  we  might  go.  And 
he  told  them  that  we  were  the  vassals  of  our  great 
Emperor,  Don  Carlos,  and  he  gave  them  some  green  beads 
and  other  trifles  from  Spain,  and  they  brought  fowls  and 
maize  cakes.  While  we  were  talking,  someone  came  to 
tell  Cortes  that  the  fat  Cacique  from  Cempoala  was  coming 
in  a  litter  carried  on  the  shoulders  of  many  Indian  chief- 
tains. When  the  fat  Cacique  arrived  he,  together  with  the 
Cacique  and  chiefs  of  the  town  addressed  Cortes,  relating 
their  many  causes  of  complaint  against  Montezuma  and 
telling  him  of  his  great  power,  and  this  they  did  with  such 
sighs  and  tears  that  Cortes  and  those  who  were  standing 
with  him  were  moved  to  pity.  Besides  relating  the  way 
that  they  had  been  brought  into  subjection,  they  told  us 
that  every  year  many  of  their  sons  and  daughters  were 
demanded  of  them  for  sacrifice,  and  others  for  service  in 
the  houses  and  plantations  of  their  conquerors  ;  and  they 
made  other  complaints  which  were  so  numerous  that  I 
do  not  remember  them  all ;  but  they  said  that  Montezuma's 
tax  gatherers  carried  off"  their  wives  and  daughters  if  they 
were  handsome  and  ravished  them,  and  this  they  did 
throughout  the  land  where  the  Totonac  language  was 
spoken,  which  contained  over  thirty  towns. 

Cortes  consoled  them  as  well  as  he  was  able  through  our 


interpreters  and  said  he  would  help  them  all  he  could,  and 
would  prevent  these  robberies  and  offences,  as  it  was  for 
that  our  lord  the  Emperor  had  sent  us  to  these  parts, 
and  that  they  should  have  no  anxiety,  for  they  would  soon 
see  what  we  would  do  in  the  matter  ;  and  they  seemed  to 
gather  some  satisfaction  from  this  assurance  but  their 
hearts  were  not  eased  on  account  of  the  great  fear  they 
had  of  the  Mexicans. 

While  this  conversation  was  going  on,  some  Indians  from 
the  town  came  in  great  haste  to  tell  the  Caciques  who 
were  talking  to  Cortes,  that  five  Mexicans,  who  were 
Montezuma's  tax  gatherers,  had  just  arrived.  When  they 
heard  the  news  they  turned  pale  and  trembled  with  fear, 
and  leaving  Cortes  alone  they  went  off  to  receive  the 
Mexicans,  and  in  the  shortest  possible  time  they  had 
decked  a  room  with  flowers,  and  had  food  cooked  for  the 
Mexicans  to  eat,  and  prepared  plenty  of  cacao,  which  is 
the  best  thing  they  have  to  drink. 

When  these  five  Indians  entered  the  town,  they  came  to 
the  place  where  we  were  assembled,  where  were  the  houses 
of  the  Cacique  and  our  quarters,  and  approaching  us  with 
the  utmost  assurance  and  arrogance,  without  speaking  to 
Cortes  or  to  any  of  us,  they  passed  us  by.  Their  cloaks 
and  loin  cloths  were  richly  embroidered  (for  at  that  time 
they  wore  loin  cloths),  and  their  shining  hair  was  gathered 
up  as  though  tied  on  their  heads,  and  each  one  was 
smelling  the  roses  that  he  carried,  and  each  had  a  crooked 
staff  in  his  hand.  Their  Indian  servants  carried  fly-whisks, 
and  they  were  accompanied  by  many  of  the  chief  men 
of  the  other  Totonac  towns,  who  until  they  had  shown  them 
to  their  lodgings  and  brought  them  food  of  the  best,  never 
left  them. 

As  soon  as  they  had  dined  they  sent  to  summon  the 
fat  Cacique  and  the  other  chiefs,  and  scolded  them  for 
entertaining  us  in  their  houses,  for  now  they  would  have  to 



speak  and  deal  with  us  which  would  not  please  their  lord 
Montezuma ;  for  without  his  permission  and  orders  they 
should  not  have  sheltered  us,  nor  given  us  presents  of 
golden  jewels,  and  on  this  subject  they  uttered  many 
threats  against  the  fat  Cacique  and  the  other  chiefs  and 
ordered  them  at  once  to  provide  twenty  Indians,  men  and 
women,  to  appease  their  gods  for  the  wrong  that  had  been 

When  he  saw  what  was  going  on,  Cortes  asked  our 
interpreters,  Dofta  Marina  and  Jerónimo  de  Aguilar  why 
the  Caciques  were  so  agitated  since  the  arrival  of  those 
Indians,  and  who  they  were.  Dofta  Marina  who  under- 
stood full  well  what  had  happened,  told  him  what  was 
going  on  ;  and  then  Cortes  summoned  the  fat  Cacique  and 
the  other  chiefs,  and  asked  them  who  these  Indians  were, 
and  why  they  made  such  a  fuss  about  them.  They  replied 
that  they  were  the  tax  gatherers  of  the  great  Montezuma 
and  that  they  had  come  to  inquire  why  they  had  received 
us  in  their  town  without  the  permission  of  their  lord,  and 
that  they  now  demanded  twenty  men  and  women  to 
sacrifice  to  their  god,  Huichilobos,  so  that  he  would  give 
them  victory  over  us,  for  they  [the  tax  gatherers]  said  that 
Montezuma  had  declared  that  he  intended  to  capture  and 
make  slaves  of  us. 

Cortes  reassured  them  and  bade  them  have  no  fear  for 
he  was  here  with  all  of  us  in  his  company  and  that  he 
would  chastise  them  [the  tax  gatherers]. 

In  the  next  chapter  I  will  tell  in  full  what  was  done 
about  it. 



How  Cortes  ordered  the  five  tax  gatherers  of  Montezuma  to  be  taken 
prisoners  and  gave  out  that  from  that  time  forward  neither 
obedience  nor  tribute  should  be  rendered  to  the  Mexicans,  and 
how  the  rebellion  against  Montezuma  was  started. 

As  soon  as  Cortes  understood  what  the  chiefs  were  telling 
him,  he  said  that  he  had  already  explained  to  them  that 
our  lord  the  King  had  sent  him  to  chastise  evil  doers  and 
that  he  would  not  permit  either  sacrifice  or  robbery,  and 
that  as  these   tax  gatherers  had   made  this  demand,  he 
ordered  them  to  make  prisoners  of  them  at  once  and  to 
hold  them  in  custody  until  their  lord  Montezuma  should 
be  told  the  reason,  namely,  how  they  had  come  to  rob  them 
and  carry  off  their  wives  and  children  as  slaves  and  commit 
other  violence.    When  the  Caciques  heard  this  they  were 
thunderstruck  at  such  daring.     What !— to  order  the  mes- 
sengers of  the  great  Montezuma  to  be  maltreated?     They 
said  that  they  were  too  much  afraid,  and  did  not  dare 
to  do  it.     But  Cortes  went  on  impressing  on  them  that  the 
messengers  should  be  thrown  into  prison  at  once,  and  so  it 
was  done,  and  in  such  a  way  that  with  some  long  poles  and 
collars  (such  as  are  in  use  among  them)  they  secured  them 
so  that  they  could  not  escape,  and  they  flogged  one  of 
them  who  would  not  allow  himself  to  be  bound.     Then 
Cortes  ordered  all  the  Caciques  to  pay  no  more  tribute  or 
obedience  to  Montezuma,  and  to  make  proclamation  to 
that  effect  in  all  their  friendly  and  allied  towns,  and  if 
any    tax    gatherers     came    to    their    other    towns,    to 
inform  him  of  it,  and  he  would  send   for  them.     So  the 
news  was   known  throughout  that   province,  for  the   fat 
Cacique  promptly  sent  messengers  to  spread  the  tidings* 
and  the  chiefs  who  had  come  in  company  with  the  tax 
gatherers,  as  soon  as  they  had  seen  them  taken  prisoners, 


noised  it  abroad,  for  each  one  returned  to  his  own  town 
to  deliver  the  order  and  relate  what  had  happened. 

When  they  witnessed  deeds  so  marvellous  and  of  such 
importance  to  themselves  they  said  that  no  human  beings 
would  dare  to  do  such  things,  and  that  it  was  the  work  of 
Teules,  for  so  they  call  the  idols  which  they  worship,  and 
for  this  reason  from  that  time  forth,  they  called  us  Teules, 
which,  as  I  have  already  explained,  is  as  much  as  to  say 
that  we  were  either  gods  or  demons.  When  in  the  course 
of  my  story  I  may  use  the  word  Teule  in  matters  connected 
with  our  persons,  let  it  be  understood  that  we  (Spaniards) 
are  meant 

I  must  go  back  to  tell  about  the  prisoners.  It  was  the 
advice  of  all  the  Caciques  that  they  should  be  sacrificed  so 
that  none  of  them  could  return  to  Mexico  to  tell  the  story; 
but  when  Cortes  heard  this  he  said  that  they  should  not 
be  killed,  and  that  he  would  take  charge  of  them,  and 
he  set  some  of  our  soldiers  to  guard  them.  At  midnight, 
Cortes  sent  for  these  soldiers  who  were  in  charge  and  said 
to  them :  "  See  to  it  that  two  of  the  prisoners  are  loosened 
[the  two]  that  appear  to  you  the  most  intelligent,  in  such  a 
way  that  the  Indians  of  this  town  shall  know  nothing  about 
it."  And  he  told  them  to  bring  the  prisoners  to  his 
lodging.  When  the  prisoners  came  before  him,  he  asked 
them  through  our  interpreters  why  they  were  prisoners  and 
what  country  they  came  from,  as  though  he  knew  nothing 
about  them.  They  replied  that  the  Caciques  of  Cempoala 
and  of  this  town,  with  the  aid  of  their  followers  and  ours, 
had  imprisoned  them,  and  Cortes  answered  that  he  knew 
nothing  about  it,  and  was  sorry  for  it,  and  he  ordered  food 
to  be  brought  them  and  talked  in  a  very  friendly  manner 
to  them,  and  told  them  to  return  at  once  to  their  lord 
Montezuma  and  tell  him  that  we  were  all  his  good  friends 
and  entirely  at  his  service,  and  that  lest  any  harm  should 
happen  to  them  he  had  taken  them  from  their  prison,  and 


had  quarrelled  with  the  Caciques  who  had  seized  them 
and  that  anything  he  could  do  to  serve  them  he  would  do 
with  the  greatest  good  will,  and  that  he  would  order 
the  three  Indians  their  companions  who  were  still  held 
prisoners  to  be  freed  and  protected.  That  they  two  should 
go  away  at  once  and  not  turn  back  to  be  captured  and 

The  two  prisoners  replied  that  they  valued  his  mercy 
and  said  they  still  had  fear  of  falling  into  the  hands  of 
their  enemies,  as  they  were  obliged  to  pass  through  their 
territory.  So  Cortes  ordered  six  sailors  to  take  them  in  a 
boat  during  the  night  a  distance  of  four  leagues  and  set 
them  on  friendly  ground  beyond  the  frontier  of  Cempoala. 
When  the  morning  came  and  the  Caciques  of  the  town  and 
the  fat  Cacique  found  that  the  two  prisoners  were  missing 
they  were  all  the  more  intent  on  sacrificing  those  that 
remained,  if  Cortes  had  not  put  it  out  of  their  power  and 
pretended  to  be  enraged  at  the  loss  of  the  two  who  had 
escaped.  He  ordered  a  chain  to  be  brought  from  the  ships 
and  bound  the  prisoners  to  it,  and  then  ordered  them  to  be 
taken  on  board  ship,  saying  that  he  himself  would  guard 
them,  as  such  bad  watch  had  been  kept  over  the  others. 
When  they  were  once  on  board  he  ordered  them  to  be 
freed  from  their  chains  and  with  friendly  words  he  told 
them  that  he  would  soon  send  them  back  to  Mexico. 

I  must  leave  this  subject  and  say  that  when  this  was 
done,  all  the  Caciques  of  this  town  and  of  Cempoala,  and 
all  the  other  Totonac  chiefs  who  had  assembled,  asked 
Cortes  what  was  to  be  done,  and  that  all  the  force  of  the 
great  Montezuma  and  of  Mexico  would  descend  upon  them 
and  they  could  not  escape  death  and  destruction. 

Cortes  replied  with  the  most  cheerful  countenance  that 
he  and  his  brothers  who  were  here  with  him  would  defend 
them  and  would  kill  anyone  who  wished  to  molest  them. 
Then  the.  Caciques  and  other  townsmen  vowed  one  and  all 


that  they  would  stand  by  us  in  everything  we  ordered 
them  to  do  and  would  join  their  forces  [with  ours]  against 
Montezuma  and  all  his  aHies.  Then,  in  the  presence  of 
Diego  de  Godoy,  the  scribe,  they  pledged  obedience  to  his 
Majesty  and  messengers  were  sent  to  relate  all  that  had 
happened  to  the  other  towns  in  that  province.  And  as 
they  no  longer  paid  any  tribute  and  no  more  tax  gatherers 
appeared  there  was  no  end  to  the  rejoicing  at  being  rid  of 
that  tyranny. 

Now,  I  will  leave  this  incident  and  tell  how  we  agreed 
to  descend  to  the  plain  to  some  fields  where  we  began 
to  build  a  fort.  This  is  what  really  took  place  and  not  the 
story  that  was  told  to  the  historian  Gomara.^ 


How  we  determined  to  found  "  La  Villa  Rica  de  la  Vera  Cniz"  and  to 
build  a  fort  in  some  meadows  near  the  salt  marshes,  and  close  to 
the  harbour  with  the  ugly  name  [Bernal]  where  our  ships  were  at 
anchor,  and  what  we  did  there. 

As  soon  as  we  had  made  this  federation  and  friendship  with 
more  than  twenty  of  the  hill  towns,  known  as  [the  towns 
of]  the  Totonacs,  which  at  this  time  rebelled  against  the 
great  Montezuma,  and  gave  their  allegiance  to  His  Majesty, 
and  offered  to  serve  us — we  determined  with  their  ready 
help  at  once  to  found  the  Villa  Rica  de  la  Vera  Cruz  on  a 
plain  half  a  league  from  this  fortress-like  town,  called 
Quiahuitztlan,  and  we  laid  out  plans  of  a  church,  market- 
place and  arsenals,  and  all  those  things  that  are  needed  for 
a  town,  and  we  built  a  fort,  and  from  the  laying  of  the 
foundations  until   the  walls  were  high  enough  to  receive 

^  Blotted  out  in  the  original  MS.  "  No  matter  how  eloquently  he 
may  relate  it."— G.  G. 


the  woodwork,  loopholes,  watch-towers,  and  barbicans,  we 
worked  with  the  greatest  haste. 

Cortes  himself  was  the  first  to  set  to  work  to  carry  out 
the  earth  and  stone  on  his  back,  and  to  dig  foundations, 
and  all  his  captains  and  soldiers  followed  his  example ; 
and  we  kept  on  labouring  [without  pause]  so  as  to  finish 
the  work  quickly,  some  of  us  digging  foundations  and 
others  building  walls,^  carrying  water,  working  in  the  lime 
kilns,  making  bricks  and  tiles,  or  seeking  for  food.  Others 
worked  at  the  timber,  and  the  blacksmiths,  for  we  had  two 
blacksmiths  with  us,  made  nails.  In  this  way  we  all 
laboured  without  ceasing,  from  the  highest  to  the  lowest ; 
the  Indians  helping  us,  so  that  the  church  and  some  of  the 
houses  were  soon  built  and  the  fort  almost  finished. 

While  we  were  thus  at  work,  it  seems  that  the  great 
Montezuma  heard  the  news  in  Mexico  about  the  capture  of 
his  tax  gatherers  and  the  rebellion  against  his  rule,  and 
how  the  Totonac  towns  had  withdrawn  their  allegiance  and 
risen  in  revolt.  He  showed  much  anger  against  Cortes 
and  all  of  us,  and  had  already  ordered  a  great  army  of 
warriors  to  make  war  on  the  people  who  had  rebelled 
against  him,  and  not  to  leave  a  single  one  of  them  alive. 
He  was  also  getting  ready  to  come  against  us  with  a  great 
army  with  many  companies. 

Just  at  this  moment  there  arrived  two  Indian  prisoners 
whom  Cortes  had  ordered  to  be  set  free,  as  I  have  related 
in  the  last  chapter,  and  when  Montezuma  knew  that  it  was 
Cortes  who  had  taken  them  out  of  prison  and  had  sent 
them  to  Mexico, — and  when  he  heard  the  words  and 
promises  which  he  had  sent  them  to  report,  it  pleased  our 
Lord  God  that  his  anger  was  appeased,  and  he  resolved  to 
send  and  gather  news  of  us.  For  this  purpose  he  despatched 
his  two  young  nephews  under  the  charge  of  four  old  men 

^  Tapias  «  walls  made  of  earth  stamped  into  a  mould. 


who  were  Caciques  of  high  rank,  and  sent  with  them  a 
present  of  gold  and  cloth,  and  told  his  messengers  to  give 
thanks  to  Cortes  for  freeing  his  servants. 

On  the  other  hand,  he  sent  many  complaints,  saying 
that  it  was  owing  to  our  protection  that  those  towns  had 
dared  to  commit  such  a  great  treason  as  to  refuse  to  pay 
him  tribute  and  to  renounce  their  allegiance  to  him,  and 
that  now,  having  respect  for  what  he  knew  to  be  true — that 
we  were  those  whom  his  ancestors  had  foretold  were  to 
come  to  their  country,  and  must  therefore  be  of  his  own 
lineage,  how  was  it  that  we  were  living  in  the  houses 
of  these  traitors  ?  He  did  not  at  once  send  to  destroy 
them,  but  the  time  would  come  when  they  would  not  brag 
of  such  acts  of  treason. 

Cortes  accepted  the  gold  and  the  cloth,  which  was  worth 
more  than  two  thousand  dollars,  and  he  embraced  the 
envoys  and  gave  as  an  excuse  that  he  and  all  of  us  were 
very  good  friends  of  the  Lord  Montezuma,  and  that  it  was 
as  his  servant  that  he  still  kept  guard  over  the  three  tax 
gatherers,  and  he  sent  at  once  to  have  them  brought  from 
the  ships — where  they  had  been  well  treated  and  well 
clothed,  and  he  delivered  them  up  to  the  messengers. 

Then  Cortes,  on  his  part,  complained  greatly  of  Monte- 
zuma, and  told  the  envoys  how  the  Governor,  Pitalpitoque, 
had  left  the  camp  one  night  without  giving  him  notice, 
which  was  not  well  done  and  that  he  believed  and  felt 
certain  that  the  Lord  Montezuma  had  not  authorized  any 
such  meanness,  and  that  it  was  on  account  of  this  that  we 
had  come  to  these  towns  where  we  were  now  residing  and 
where  we  had  been  well  treated  by  the  inhabitants.  And 
he  prayed  him  to  pardon  the  disrespect  of  which  the  people 
had  been  guilty.  As  to  what  he  said  about  the  people  no 
longer  paying  tribute,  they  could  not  serve  two  masters 
and  during  the  time  we  had  been  there  they  had  rendered 
service  to  us  in  the  name  of  our  Lord  and  King ;  but 


as  he,  Cortes,  and  all  his  brethren  were  on  their  way  to 
visit  him,  and  place  themselves  at  his  service,  that  when  we 
were  once  there,  then  his  commands  would  be  attended  to. 

When  this  conversation  and  more  of  the  same  nature 
was  over,  Cortes  ordered  blue  and  green  glass  beads  to 
be  given  to  the  two  youths,  who  were  Caciques  of  high 
rank,  and  to  the  four  old  men  who  had  come  in  charge 
of  them,  who  were  also  chieftains  of  importance,  and 
paid  them  every  sign  of  honour.  And  as  there  were  some 
good  meadows  in  the  neighbourhood,  Cortes  ordered 
Pedro  de  Alvarado  who  had  a  good  and  very  handy  sorrel 
mare,  and  some  of  the  other  horsemen,  to  gallop  and 
skirmish  before  the  Caciques,  who  were  delighted  at  the 
sight  of  their  galloping,  and  they  then  took  leave  of  Cortes 
and  of  all  of  us  well  contented,  and  returned  to  Mexico. 

About  this  time  Cortes*  horse  died,  and  he  bought  or 
was  given  another  called  "  El  Arriero,"  a  dark  chestnut 
which  belonged  to  Ortiz,  the  musician,  and  Bartolomé 
Garcia,  the  miner  ;  it  was  one  of  the  best  of  the  horses  that 
came  in  the  fleet. 

I  must  stop  talking  about  this,  and  relate  that  as  these 
towns  of  the  sierra,  our  allies,  and  the  town  of  Cempoala 
had  hitherto  been  very  much  afraid  of  the  Mexicans, 
believing  that  the  great  Montezuma  would  send  his  great 
army  of  warriors  to  destroy  them,  when  they  saw  the 
kinsmen  of  the  great  Montezuma  arriving  with  the  presents 
I  have  mentioned,  and  paying  such  marked  respect  to 
Cortes  and  to  all  of  us,  they  were  fairly  astounded  and  the 
Caciques  said  to  one  another  that  we  must  be  Teules  for 
Montezuma  had  fear  of  us,  and  had  sent  us  presents  of  ^ 
gold.  If  we  already  had  reputation  for  valour,  from  this 
time  forth  it  was  greatly  increased.  But  I  must  leave 
off  here  and  go  on  to  say  what  the  fat  Cacique  and  his 
friends  were  about. 



How  the  hX  Cacique  and  other  chieftains  came  to  complain  to  Cortes, 
that  in  a  fortified  town  named  Cingapacinga,^  there  was  a 
garrison  of  Mexicans  which  did  them  much  damage,  and  what 
was  done  about  it. 

As  soon  as  the  Mexican  messengers  had  departed,  the  fat 
Cacique  with  many  other  friendly  chieftains,  came  to  beg 
Cortes  to  go  at  once  to  a  town  named  Cingapacinga,  two 
days'  journey  from  Cempoala  (that  is  about  eight  or  nine 
leagues)— as  there  were  many  warriors  of  the  Culuas,  or 
Mexicans,  assembled  there,  who  were  destroying  their  crops 
and  plantations,  and  were  waylaying  and  ill-treating  their 
vassals,  and  doing  other  injuries.  Cortes  believed  the  story 
as  they  told  it  so  earnestly.  He  had  promised  that  he 
would  help  them,  and  would  destroy  the  Culuas  and  other 
Indians  who  might  annoy  them,  and  noting  with  what 
importunity  they  pressed  their  complaints,  he  did  not 
know  what  to  answer  them,  unless  it  were  to  say  that 
he  would  willingly  go,  or  send  some  soldiers  under  one 
of  us,  to  turn  these  Mexicans  out.  As  he  stood  there 
thinking  the  matter  over,  he  said  laughingly  to  some  of  us 
companions  who  were  with  him  :  "  Do  you  know,  gentle- 
men, that  it  seems  to  me  that  we  have  already  gained  a 
great  reputation  for  valour  throughout  this  country  and  that 
from  what  they  saw  us  do  in  the  matter  of  Montezuma's 
tax-gatherers,  the  people  here  take  us  for  gods  or  beings 
like  their  idols.  I  am  thinking  that  so  as  to  make  them 
believe  that  one  of  us  is  enough  to  defeat  those  Indian 
warriors,  their  enemies,  who  they  say  are  occupying  the 
town  with  the  fortress,  that  we  will  send  Heredia  against 

*  Not  marked  on  the  modern  maps.  Orozco  y  Berra  (vol.  iv,  p.  163) 
says  that  it  no  longer  exists,  but  that  he  found  it  marked  in  a  MS.  map 
of  Patino  under  the  name  of  Tizapanecingo,  eight  or  nine  leagues 
N.W.  of  Cempoala, 


them/*  Now,  this  old  man  was  a  Biscayan  musketeer  who 
had  a  bad  twitch  in  his  face,  a  big  beard,  a  face  covered 
with  scars,  and  was  blind  of  one  eye  and  lame  of  one  leg. 

Cortes  sent  for  him  and  said  :  "  Go  with  these  Caciques 
to  the  river  which  is  a  quarter  of  a  league  distant,  and 
when  you  get  there,  stop  to  drink  and  wash  your  hands, 
and  fire  a  shot  from  your  musket,  and  then  I  will  send 
to  call  you  back.  I  want  this  to  be  done  because  the 
people  here  think  that  we  are  gods,  or  at  least  they  have 
given  us  that  name  and  reputation,  and  as  you  are  ugly 
enough,  they  will  believe  that  you  are  an  idol."  Heredia 
did  what  he  was  told,  for  he  was  an  intelligent  and  clever 
man  who  had  been  a  soldier  in  Italy,  and  Cortes  sent  for 
the  fat  Cacique  and  the  other  chieftains,  who  were  waiting 
for  his  help  and  assistance,  and  said  to  them  :  "  I  am 
sending  this  brother  of  mine  with  you  to  kill  or  expel  all 
the  Culuas  from  this  town  you  speak  of,  and  to  bring  me 
here  as  prisoners  all  who  refuse  to  leave."  The  Caciques 
were  surprised  when  they  heard  this  and  did  not  know 
whether  to  believe  it  or  not,  but  seeing  that  Cortes  never 
changed  his  face,  they  believed  that  what  he  told  them  was 
true.  So  old  Heredia  shouldered  his  musket  and  set  out 
with  them,  and  he  fired  shots  into  the  air  as  he  went 
through  the  forest  so  that  the  Indians  might  see  and  hear 
him.  And  the  Caciques  sent  word  to  the  other  towns  that 
they  were  bringing  along  a  Teule  to  kill  all  the  Mexicans 
who  were  in  Cingapacinga.  I  tell  this  story  here  merely 
as  a  laughable  incident,  and  to  show  the  wiles  of  Cortes. 
When  Cortes  knew  that  Heredia  had  reached  the  river 
that  he  had  been  told  about,  he  sent  in  haste  to  call 
him  back,  and  when  old  Heredia  and  the  Caciques  had 
returned,  he  told  them  that  on  account  of  the  good  will  he 
bore  them  that  he,  Cortes  himself,  would  go  in  person  with 
some  of  his  brethren  to  afford  them  the  help  they  needed 
and  visit  the  country,  and  fortresses ;  and  he  ordered  them 

N  2 


at  once  to  bring  one  hundred  Indian  carriers  to  transport 
the  tepusques,  that  is,  the  cannon,  and  they  came  early 
the  next  morning,  and  we  set  out  that  same  day  with  four 
hundred  men  and  fourteen  horsemen,  and  crossbowmen  and 
musketeers  who  were  all  ready.  Certain  soldiers  belonging 
to  the  party  of  Diego  Velasquez  refused  to  go  and  told 
Cortes  that  he  could  set  out  with  those  who  were  willing, 
but  that  they  wished  to  go  back  to  Cuba. 

What  was  done  about  this  I  will  tell  in  the  next  chapter. 


How  certain  soldiers,  partisans  of  Diego  Velasquez,  seeing  tliat  we 
positively  intended  to  make  settlements,  and  establish  peace  in 
the  towns,  said  that  they  did  not  want  to  go  on  any  expedition, 
but  wished  to  return  to  the  Island  of  Cuba. 

You  have  already  heard  me  tell  in  the  preceding  chapter 
how  Cortes  had  undertaken  to  go  to  a  town  named 
Cingapacinga,  and  take  with  him  four  hundred  soldiers  and 
fourteen  horsemen  and  musketeers  and  crossbowmen,  and 
we  took  good  care  to  make  certain  soldiers  of  the  party  of 
Diego  Velasquez  go  with  us.  When  the  officers  went  to 
warn  them  to  get  their  arms  ready,  and  those  who  had 
them  to  bring  their  horses,  they  answered  haughtily  that 
they  did  not  want  to  go  on  any  expedition  but  back  to 
their  farms  and  estates  in  Cuba  ;  that  they  had  already 
lost  enough  through  Cortes  having  enticed  them  from  their 
homes,  and  that  he  had  promised  them  on  the  sand  dunes 
that  whosoever  might  wish  to  leave,  that  he  would  give 
them  permission  to  do  so  and  a  ship  and  stores  for  the 
voyage  ;  and  for  that  reason  there  were  now  seven  soldiers 
all  ready  to  return  to  Cuba.  When  Cortes  heard  this  he 
sent  to  summon  these  men  before  him,  and  when  he  asked 
them  why  they  were  doing  such  a  mean  thing  they  replied 

WISH  to  RETURN  TO  CUBA.  l8l 

somewhat  indignantly  and  said  that  they  wondered  at  his 
honour,  with  so  few  soldiers  under  his  command,  wishing  to 
settle  in  a  place  where  there  were  reported  to  be  such 
thousands  of  Indians  and  such  great  towns  ;  that  as  for 
themselves,  they  were  invalids  and  could  hardly  crawl 
from  one  place  to  another  and  that  they  wished  to  return 
to  their  homes  and  estates  in  Cuba,  and  they  asked  him  to 
grant  them  leave  to  depart  as  he  had  promised  that  he 
would  do.  Cortes  answered  them  gently  that  it  was  true 
that  he  had  promised  it,  but  that  they  were  not  doing  their 
duty  in  deserting  from  their  captain's  flag.  And  then  he 
ordered  them  to  embark  at  once  without  any  delay  and 
assigned  a  ship  to  them  and  ordered  them  to  be  furnished 
with  cassava  bread  and  a  jar  of  oil  and  such  other  supplies 
as  we  possessed. 

One  of  these  soldiers,  a  certain  Moron,  a  native  of  the 
town  of  Bayamo,  owned  a  good  dappled  (gray)  horse,  with 
stockinged  fore- feet,  and  he  sold  it  a  good  bargain  to  Juan 
Ruano  in  exchange  for  some  property  which  Juan  Ruano 
had  left  in  Cuba. 

When  these  people  were  ready  to  set  sail,  all  of  us 
comrades,  and  the  Alcaldes  and  Regidores  of  our  town  of 
Villa  Rica,  went  and  begged  Cortes  on  no  account  to  allow 
anyone  to  leave  the  country,  for,  in  the  interest  of  the 
service  of  our  Lord  God  and  His  Majesty,  any  person 
asking  for  such  permission  should  be  considered  as  de- 
serving the  punishment  of  death,  in  accordance  with 
military  law,  as  a  deserter  from  his  captain  and  his  flag  in 
time  of  war  and  peril,  especially  in  this  case  when,  as  they 
had  stated,  we  were  surrounded  by  such  a  great  number  of 
towns  peopled  by  Indian  warriors. 

Cortes  acted  as  though  he  wished  to  give  them  leave 
to  depart,  but  in  the  end  he  revoked  the  permission  and 
they  remained  baffled,  and  even  ashamed  of  themselves ; 
however  Moron  had  sold  his  horse  and  Juan  Ruano,  who 


had  possession  of  it,  did  not  want  to  give  it  back  again  ; 
but  Cortes  arranged  all  this  and  we  set  out  on  our  expedi- 
tion to  Cingapacinga. 


What  happened  to  us  at  Cingapacinga,  and  how,  on  our  return  by 
way  of  Cempoala,  we  demolished  the  idols  ;  and  other  things  that 

As  soon  as  the  seven  men  who  wished  to  return  to  Cuba 
had  calmed  down,  we  set  out  with  the  force  of  horsemen 
and  foot  soldiers  already  mentioned,  and  slept  that  night 
at  the  town  of  Cempoala.  Two  thousand  Indian  warriors 
divided  into  four  commands,  were  all  ready  to  accompany  . 
us,  and  on  the  first  day  we  marched  five  leagues  in  good 
order.  The  next  day,  a  little  after  dusk^  we  arrived  at  some 
farms  near  to  the  town  of  Cingapacinga,  and  the  natives  of 
the  town  heard  the  news  of  our  coming.  When  we  had 
already  begun  the  ascent  to  the  fortress  and  houses  which 
stood  amid  great  cliffs  and  crags,  eight  Indian  chieftains 
and  priests  came  out  to  meet  us  peacefully  and  asked 
Cortes  with  tears,  why  he  wished  to  kill  and  destroy  them 
when  they  had  done  nothing  to  deserve  it ;  that  we  had 
the  reputation  of  doing  good  to  all  and  of  relieving  those 
who  had  been  robbed,  and  we  had  imprisoned  the  tax 
gatherers  of  Montezuma ;  that  these  Cempoala  Indians 
who  accompanied  us  were  hostile  to  them  on  account  of 
old  enmities  over  the  land  claims  and  boundaries,  and 
under  our  protection  they  had  come  to  kill  and  rob  them. 
It  was  true,  they  said,  that  there  was  formerly  a  Mexican 
garrison  in  the  town,  but  that  they  had  left  for  their  own 
country  a  few  days  earlier  when  they  heard  that  we  had 

^  A  poco  mas  de  Visperas. 


taken  the  other  tax  gatherers  prisoners,  and  they  prayed 
us  not  to  let  the  matter  go  any  further,  but  to  grant  them 
protection.  When  Cortes  thoroughly  understood  what 
they  had  said  through  our  interpreters,  Dofia  Marina  and 
Aguilar,  without  delay  he  ordered  Captain  Pedro  de 
Alvarado,  and  the  quartermaster  Cristovól  de  Olid,  and  all 
of  us  comrades  who  were  with  him,  to  restrain  the  Indians 
of  Cempoala  and  prevent  them  from  advancing ;  and  this 
we  did.  But  although  we  made  haste  to  stop  them,  they 
had  already  begun  to  loot  the  farms.  This  made  Cortes 
very  angry  and  he  sent  for  the  captains  who  had  command 
of  the  Cempoala  warriors,  and  with  angry  words  and  serious 
threats,  he  ordered  them  to  bring  the  Indian  men  and 
women  and  cloths  and  poultry  that  they  had  stolen  from 
the  farms,  and  forbade  any  Cempoala  Indian  to  enter  the 
town,  and  said  that  for  having  lied  and  for  having  come 
under  our  protection  merely  to  rob  and  sacrifice  their 
neighbours,  they  were  deserving  of  death,  and  that  our 
Lord  and  King,  whose  servants  we  were,  had  not  sent  us 
to  these  countries  to  commit  such  indignities,  and  that 
they  should  keep  their  eyes  wide  open  in  order  that  such  a 
thing  did  not  happen  again,  otherwise  he  would  not  leave 
one  of  them  alive.  Then  the  Caciques  and  captains  of  the 
Cempoalans  brought  to  Cortes  everything  they  had  seized, 
both  Indian  men  and  women  and  poultry,  and  he  gave 
them  all  back  to  their  owners  and  with  a  face  full  of  wrath 
he  turned  [to  the  Cempoalans]  and  ordered  them  to  retire 
and  sleep  in  the  fields — and  this  they  did. 

When  the  caciques  and  priests^  of  that  town  saw  how 
just  we  were  [in  our  dealings]  and  heard  the  affectionate 
words  that  Cortes  spoke  to  them  through  our  interpreters, 
including  matters  concerning  our  holy  religion  which  it 
was  always  our  custom  to  explain,  and  his  advice  to  them 

*  Papas. 

184  A  Looter  púNísHEt). 

to  give  up  human  sacrifices  and  robbing  one  another,  and 
the  filthy  practice  of  sodomy,  and  the  worship  of  their 
cursed  Idols,  and  much  other  good  counsel  which  he  gave 
them,  they  showed  such  good  will  towards  us  that  they 
at  once  sent  to  call  together  the  people  of  the  neighbouring 
towns,  and  all  gave  their  fealty  to  his  Majesty. 

They  soon  began  to  utter  many  complaints  against 
Montezuma,  just  as  the  people  of  Cempoala  had  done 
when  we  were  at  the  town  of  Quiahuitztlan.  On  the 
next  morning  Cortes  sent  to  summon  the  captains  and 
caciques  of  Cempoala,  who  were  waiting  in  the  fields  to 
know  what  we  should  order  them  to  do,  and  still  in  terror 
of  Cortes  on  account  of  the  lies  they  had  told  him.  When 
they  came  before  him  he  made  them  make  friends  with 
the  people  of  the  town,  a  pact  which  was  never  broken  by 
any  of  them. 

Then  we  set  out  for  Cempoala  by  another  road  and 
passed  through  two  towns  friendly  to  Cingapacinga,  where 
we  rested,  for  the  sun  was  very  hot  and  we  were  wearied 
with  carrying  our  arms  on  our  backs.  A  soldier,  (a  some- 
thing) de  Mora,  a  native  of  Ciudad-Rodrigo,  took  two 
chickens  from  an  Indian  house  in  one  of  the  towns,  and 
Cortes  who  happened  to  see  it,  was  so  enraged  at  that 
soldier  for  stealing  chickens  in  a  friendly  town  before  his 
very  eyes,  that  he  immediately  ordered  a  halter  to  be  put 
around  his  neck,  and  he  would  have  been  hanged  there  if 
Pedro  de  Alvarado,  who  chanced  to  be  near  Cortes,  had 
not  cut  the  halter  with  his  sword  when  the  poor  soldier 
was  half  dead.  I  call  this  story  to  mind  here  to  show  my 
curious  readers,  and  even  the  priests  who  nowadays  have 
charge  of  administering  the  holy  sacraments  and  teaching 
the  doctrine  to  the  natives  of  the  country,  that  because 
the  poor  soldier  stole  two  fowls  in  a  friendly  town,  it 
nearly  cost  him  his  life,  so  that  they  can  see  how  one 
ought   to   act  towards  the   Indians,  and   not  seize  their 


property.  This  same  soldier  was  killed  later  on  in  a  battle 
fought  on  a  rocky  height  in  the  province  of  Guatemala. 

To  go  on  with  my  story — when  we  had  left  those  towns 
in  peace  and  continued  our  march  towards  Cempoala,  we 
met  the  fat  cacique  and  other  chiefs  waiting  for  us  in  some 
huts  with  food,  for  although  they  were  Indians,  they  saw 
and  understood  that  justice  is  good  and  sacred,  and  that 
the  words  Cortes  had  spoken  to  them,  that  we  had  come  to 
right  wrongs  and  abolish  tyranny,  were  in  conformity  with 
what  had  happened  on  that  expedition,  and  they  were 
better  aflfected  towards  us  than  ever  before. 

We  slept  the  night  in  those  huts,  and  all  the  caciques 
bore  us  company  all  the  way  to  our  quarters  in  their  town. 
They  were  really  anxious  that  we  should  not  leave  their 
country,  as  they  were  fearful  that  Montezuma  would  send 
his  warriors  against  them,  and  they  said  to  Cortes  that  as 
we  were  already  their  friends,  they  would  like  to  have  us 
for  brothers,  and  that  it  would  be  well  that  we  should  take 
from  their  daughters,  so  as  to  have  children  by  them  ;  and 
to  cement  our  friendship,  they  brought  eight  damsels,  all 
of  them  daughters  of  caciques,  and  gave  one  of  these 
cacicas,  who  was  the  niece  of  the  fat  cacique,  to  Cortes  ; 
and  one,  who  was  the  daughter  of  another  great  cacique, 
(called  Cuesco  in  their  language,)  was  given  to  Alonzo 
Hernandez  Puertocarrero.  All  eight  of  them  were  clothed 
in  the  rich  garments  of  the  country,  beautifully  ornamented 
as  is  their  custom.  Each  one  of  them  had  a  golden  collar 
around  her  neck  and  golden  ear-rings  in  her  ears,  and  they 
came  accompanied  by  other  Indian  girls  who  were  to  serve 
as  their  maids.  When  the  fat  cacique  presented  them,  Jie 
said  to  Cortes  :  "  Tecle,  (which  in  their  language  means 
Lord) — these  seven  women  are  for  your  captains,  and  this 
one,  who  is  my  niece,  is  for  you,  and  she  is  the  senora  of 
towns  and  vassals."  Cortes  received  them  with  a  cheerful 
countenance  and  thanked  the  caciques  for  the  gift,  but  he 


said  that  before  we  could  accept  them  and  become  brothers, 
they  must  get  rid  of  those  idols  which  they  believed  in  and 
worshipped,  and  which  kept  them  in  darkness,  and  must 
no  longer  offer  sacrifices  to  them,  and  that  when  he  could 
see  those  cursed  things  thrown  to  the  ground  and  an  end 
put  to  sacrifices  that  then  our  bonds  of  brotherhood  would 
be  most  firmly  tied.  He  added  that  these  damsels  must 
become  Christians  before  we  could  receive  them,  and  the 
people  must  free  themselves  from  sodomy,  for  there  were 
boys  dressed  like  women  who  went  about  for  gain  by  that 
cursed  practice,  and  every  day  we  saw  sacrificed  before  us 
three,  four  or  five  Indians  whose  hearts  were  offered  to  the 
idols  and  their  blood  plastered  on  the  walls,  and  the  feet, 
arms  and  legs  of  the  victims  were  cut  off  and  eaten,  just 
as  in  our  country  we  eat  beef  brought  from  the  butchers. 
I  even  believe  that  they  sell  it  by  retail  in  the  tianguez^  as 
they  call  their  markets.  Cortes  told  them  that  if  they  gave 
up  these  evil  deeds  and  no  longer  practiced  them,  not 
only  would  we  be  their  friends,  but  we  would  make  them 
lords  over  other  provinces.  All  the  caciques,  priests,  and 
chiefs  replied  that  it  did  not  seem  to  them  good  to  give  up 
their  idols  and  sacrifices  and  that  these  gods  of  theirs  gave 
them  health  and  good  harvests  and  everything  of  which 
they  had  need  ;  and  that  as  for  sodomy,  measures  would  be 
taken  to  put  a  stop  to  it  so  that  it  should  no  longer  be 

When  Cortes  and  all  of  us  who  had  seen  so  many 
cruelties  and  infamies  which  I  have  mentioned  heard  that ' 
disrespectful  answer,  we  could  not  stand  it,  and  Cortes 
spoke  to  us  about  it  and  reminded  us  of  certain  good  and 
holy  doctrines  and  said :  **  How  can  we  ever  accomplish 
anything  worth  doing  if  for  the  honour  of  God  we  do  not 
first  abolish  these  sacrifices  made  to  idols  ?"  and  he  told  us 

^  Tianguiz  or  Tianguiztli. 


to  be  all  ready  to  fight  should  the  Indians  try  to  prevent 
us  ;  but  even  if  it  cost  us  our  lives  the  idols  must  come  to 
the  ground  that  very  day.  We  were  all  armed  ready  for  a 
fight  as  it  was  ever  our  custom  to  be  so,  and  Cortes  told 
the  caciques  that  the  idols  must  be  overthrown.  When 
they  saw  that  we  were  in  earnest,  the  fat  cacique  and  his 
captains  told  all  the  warriors  to  get  ready  to  defend  their 
idols,  and  when  they  saw  that  we  intended  to  ascend  a  lofty 
cue — which  was  their  temple — which  stood  high  and  was 
approached  by  many  steps, — I  cannot  remember  how  many 
(steps  there  were) — the  fat  cacique  and  the  other  chieftains 
were  beside  themselves  with  fury  and  called  out  to  Cortes 
to  know  why  he  wanted  to  destroy  their  idols,  for  if  we 
dishonoured  them  and  overthrew  them,  that  they  would  all 
perish  and  we  along  with  them.  Cortes  answered  them  in 
an  angry  tone,  that  he  had  already  told  them  that  they 
should  offer  no  more  sacrifices  to  those  evil  images  ;  that 
our  reason  for  removing  them  was  that  they  should  no 
longer  be  deluded,  and  that  either  they,  themselves,  must 
remove  the  idols  at  once,  or  we  should  throw  them  out  and 
roll  them  down  the  steps,  and  he  added  that  we  were  no 
longer  their  friends  but  their  mortal  enemies,  for  he  had 
given  them  good  advice  which  they  would  not  believe  ; 
besides  he  had  seen  their  companies  come  armed  for  battle 
and  he  was  angry  with  them  and  would  make  them  pay  for 
it  by  taking  their  lives. 

When  the  Indians  saw  Cortes  uttering  these  threats,  and 
our  interpreter  Dona  Marina  knew  well  how  to  make  them 
understood,  and  even  threatened  them  with  the  power  of 
Montezuma  which  might  fall  on  them  any  day,  out  of  fear  of 
all  this  they  replied  that  they  were  not  worthy  to  approach 
their  gods,  and  that  if  we  wished  to  overthrow  them  it  was 
not  with  their  consent,  but  that  we  could  overthrow  them 
and  do  what  we  chose. 

The  words  were  hardly  out  of  their  mouths  before  more 


than  fifty  of  us  soldiers  had  clambered  up  [to  the  temple] 
and  had  thrown  down  their  idols  which  came  rolling  down 
the  steps  shattered  to  pieces.  The  idols  looked  like  fear- 
some dragons,  as  big  as  calves,  and  there  were  other  figures 
.  half  men  and  half  great  dogs  of  hideous  appearance.  When 
they  saw  their  idols  broken  to  pieces  the  caciques  and 
•priests  who  were  with  them  wept  and  covered  their  eyes^ 
and  in  the  Totonac  tongue  they  prayed  their  gods  to 
pardon  them,  saying  that  the  matter  was  no  longer  in  their 
hands  and  they  were  not  to  blame,  but  these  Teules  who 
had  overthrown  them,  and  that  they  did  not  attack  us  on 
account  of  the  fear  of  the  Mexicans. 

When  this  was  over  the  captains  of  the  Indian  warriors 
who,  as  1  have  said,  had  come  ready  to  attack  us,  began  to 
prepare  to  shoot  arrows  at  us,  and  when  we  saw  this,  we 
laid  our  hands  on  the  fat  cacique  and  the  six  priests  and 
some  other  chiefs,  and  Cortes  cried  out  that  on  the  least 
sign  of  hostility  they  would  all  be  killed.  Then  the 
fat  cacique  commanded  his  men  to  retire  from  our  front 
and  not  attempt  to  fight,  and  when  Cortes  saw  them 
calmed,  he  niade  them  a  speech  which  I  will  record  later 
on,  and  thus  they  were  all  pacified. 

This  affair  of  Cingapacinga  was  the  first  expedition 
made  by  Cortes  in  New  Spain,  and  it  was  very  successful, 
and  we  did  not,  as  the  historian  Gómara  says,  kill  and 
capture  and  destroy  thousands  of  men  in  this  affair  at 
Cingapacinga,  and  he  who  reads  this  can  see  how  far  one 
story  differs  from  the  other,  and  however  good  the  style 
of  his  history  may  be,  nothing  is  set  down  as  it  really 



How  Cortes  had  an  altar  made  and  set  up  an  image  of  Our  Lady  and 
a  Cross,  and  how  mass  was  said  and  the  eight  Indian  damsels 
were  baptized. 

When  the  Caciques,  priests  and  chieftains  were  silenced, 
Cortes  ordered  all  the  idols  which  we  had  overthrown  and 
broken  to  pieces  to  be  taken  out  of  sight  and  burned. 
Then  eight  priests  who  had  charge  of  the  idols  came  out 
of  a  chamber  and  carried  them  back  to  the  house  whence 
they  had  come,  and  burned  them.  These  priests  wore 
black  cloaks  like  cassocks  and  long  gowns  reaching  to 
their  feet,  and  some  had  hoods  like  those  worn  by  canons, 
and  others  had  smaller  hoods  like  those  worn  by  Domini- 
cans, and  they  wore  their  hair  very  long,  down  to  the 
waist,  with  some  even  reaching  down  to  the  feet,  covered 
with  blood  and  so  matted  together  that  it  could  not  be 
separated,  and  their  ears  were  cut  to  pieces  by  way  of 
sacrifice,  and  they  stank  like  sulphur,  and  they  had  another 
bad  smell  like  carrion,  and  as  they  said,  and  we  learnt  that 
it  was  true,  these  priests  were  the  sons  of  chiefs  and 
they  abstained  from  women,  but  they  indulged  in  the 
cursed  practice  of  sodomy,  and  they  fasted  on  certain  day?, 
and  what  I  saw  them  eat  was  the  pith  or  seeds  of  cotton 
when  the  cotton  was  being  cleaned,  but  they  may  have 
eaten  other  things  which  I  did  not  see. 

Let  us  leave  the  priests  and  go  back  to  Cortes  who  made 
them  a  good  speech  through  our  interpreters,  Dofia  Marina 
and  Jerónimo  de  Aguilar,  and  told  them  that  now  we 
would  treat  them  as  brothers  and  would  help  them  all  we 
could  against  Montezuma  and  his  Mexicans,  and  we  had 
already  sent  to  tell  him  not  to  make  war  on  them  or  levy 
tribute,  and  that  as  now  they  were  not  to  have  any  more 
idols  in  their  lofty  temples  he  wished  to  leave  with  them 


a  great  lady  who  was  the  Mother  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ 
whom  we  believe  in  and  worship,  and  that  they  too  should 
hold  her  for  Lady  and  intercessor,  and  about  this  matter 
and  others  which  were  mentioned  he  made  them  an  excel- 
lent discourse,  so  concisely  reasoned,  considering  the  time 
at  his  disposal,  that  there  was  nothing  left  to  be  said.     He 
told  them  many  things  about  our  holy  religion  as  well 
stated  as  only  a  priest  could  do  it  nowadays,  so  that  it  was 
listened  to  with  good  will.    Then  he  ordered  all  the  Indian 
mason^n  the  town  to  bring  plenty  of  lime  so  as  to  clean 
the  place  and  he  told  them  to  clear  away  the  blood  which 
encrusted  the  cues  and  to  clean  them  thoroughly.     The 
next  day  when  they  were  whitewashed,  an  altar  was  set  up 
with  very  good  altar  cloths  and  he  told  the  Indians  to 
bring  many  of  the  roses  which  grew  in  the  country  and  are 
very  sweet-scented,  and  branches  of  flowers,  and  told  the 
people  to  adorn  the  altar  with  garlands  and  always  keep 
the  place  swept  and  clean.    He  then  ordered  four  of  the 
priests  to  have  their  hair  shorn,  for,  as  I  have  already  said, 
they  wore  it  long,  and  to  change  their  garments  and  clothe 
themselves  in  white,  and  always  keep  themselves  clean,  and 
he  placed  them  in  charge  of  the  altar  and  of  that  sacred 
image  of  our  Lady,  with  orders  to  keep  the  place  swept 
clean  and  decked  with  flowers.     So  that  it  should  be  well 
looked  after,  he  left  there  as  hermit  one  of  our  soldiers 
named  Juan  de  Torres  de  Cordoba,  who  was  old  and  lame. 
He  ordered  our  carpenters,  whose  names  I  have  already 
given,  to  make  a  cross  and  place  it  on  a  stone  support 
which  we  had  already  built  and  plastered  over. 

The  next  morning,  mass  was  celebrated  at  the  altar  by 
Padre  Fray  Bartolomé  de  Olmedo,  and  then  an  'order  was 
given  to  fumigate  the  holy  image  of  Our  Lady  and  the 
sacred  cross  with  the  incense  of  the  country,  and  we  showed 
them  how  to  make  candles  of  the  native  wax  and  ordered 
these  candles  always  to  be  kept  burning  on  the  altar,  for 


up  to  that  time  they  did  not  know  how  to  use  the  wax. 
The  most  important  chieftains  of  that  town  and  of  others 
who  had  come  together,  were  present  at  the  Mass. 

At  the  same  time  the  eight  Indian  damsels  were  brought 
to  be  made  Christians,  for  they  were  still  in  the  charge 
of  their  parents  and  uncles  and  they  were  given  to  under- 
stand that  they  must  not  offer  more  sacrifices,  nor  worship 
idols,  but  believe  in  our  Lord  God.  ^And  they  were 
admonished  about  many  things  touching  our  holy  religion 
and  were  then  baptized.  The  niece  of  the  fat  Cacique  was 
named  Dofta  Catalina,  and  she  was  very  ugly ;  she  was 
led  by  the  hand  and  given  to  Cortes  who  received  her  and 
tried  to  look  pleased.  The  daughter  of  the  great  Cacique, 
Cuesco,  was  named  Dofta  Francisca,  she  was  very 
beautiful  for  an  Indian,  and  Cortes  gave  her  to  Alonzo 
Hernandez  Puertocarrero.  I  cannot  now  recall  to  mind 
the  names  of  the  other  six,  but  I  know  that  Cortes  gave 
them  to  different  soldiers.  When  this  had  been  done,  we 
took  leave  of  all  the  Caciques  and  chieftains  who  from  that 
time  forward  always  showed  us  good  will,  especially  when 
they  saw  that  Cortes  received  their  daughters  and  that  we 
took  them  away  with  us,  and  after  Cortes  had  repeated  his 
promises  of  assistance  [against  their  enemies]  we  set  out 
for  our  town  of  Villa  Rica. 

What  happened  there  I  will  speak  of  later  on.  This, 
however,  is  the  true  account  of  what  took  place  in  the 
town  of  Cempoala,  and  differs  from  the  stories  told  by 
Góniara  and  the  other  historians  which  are  all  stuff  and 



How  we  returned  to  Villa  Rica  de  la  Vera  Cruz  and  what  happened 


After  we  had  finished  our  expedition  and  the  people 
of  Cempoala  and  Cingapacinga  had  been  reconciled  to  one 
another,  and  the  other  neighbouring  towns  had  given  their 
fealty  to  His  Majesty,  and  the  idols  had  been  overturned 
and  the  image  of  Our  Lady  and  the  Holy  Cross  set  up  in 
their  place,  and  the  old  soldier  placed  in  charge  as  hermit, 
and  all  the  other  things  that  I  have  told  about  had 
happened,  we  returned  to  our  settlement  and  took  with  us 
certain  chieftains  from  Cempoala.  On  the  day  of  our 
arrival  there  came  into  port  a  ship  from  the  Island  of 
Cuba,  under  the  command  of  Francisco  de  Saucedo,  whom 
we  called  ElPulido}  We  called  him  this  from  his  excessive 
pride  in  his  good  looks  and  elegance.  They  say  that  he 
was  a  native  of  Medina  Rio  Seco,  and  had  been  Maestre- 
sale?'  to  the  Admiral  of  Castille. 

At  the  same  time  there  arrived  Luis  Marin  (a  man 
of  great  merit  who  was  afterwards  a  captain  in  the  expedi- 
tion against  Mexico)  and  ten  soldiers.  Saucedo  brought  a 
horse,  and  Luis  Marin  a  mare ;  and  they  brought  from 
Cuba  the  news  that  the  decree  had  reached  Diego  Velas- 
quez from  Spain  giving  him  authority  to  trade  and  found 
settlements,  at  which  his  friends  were  greatly  rejoiced,  all 
the  more  when  they  learned  that  he  had  received  his  com- 
mission appointing  him  Adelantado  of  Cuba. 

Being  in  that  town  without  any  plans  beyond  finishing 
the  fort,  for  we  were  still  at  work  on  it,  most  of  us  soldiers 
suggested  to  Cortes  to  let  the  fort  stand  as  it  was,  for  a 

1  The  elegant. 

'  Maestresala^  the  chief  waiter  at  a  nobleman's  table. 


memorial,  (it  was  just  ready  to  be  roofed),  for  we  had 
already  been  over  three  months  in  the  country  and  it 
seemed  to  us  better  to  go  and  see  what  this  great  Monte- 
zuma might  be  like  and  to  earn  an  honest  living  and  make 
our  fortune  ;  but  that  before  we  started  on  our  journey  we 
should  send  our  salutations  to  His  Majesty,  the  Emperor, 
and  give  him  an  account  of  all  that  had  happened  since  we 
left  the  Island  of  Cuba.  It  also  began  to  be  debated 
whether  we  should  send  to  His  Majesty  all  the  gold  that 
we  had  received,  both  what  we  had  got  from  barter,  as  well 
as  the  presents  that  Montezuma  had  sent  us.  Cortes 
replied  that  it  was  a  very  wise  decision  and  that  he  had 
already  talked  to  some  of  the  gentlemen  about  it,  and  that 
as  perchance  in  this  matter  of  the  gold  there  might  be 
some  soldiers  who  wished  to  keep  their  shares,  and  if  it 
were  divided  up  there  would  be  very  little  to  send,  that  for 
this  reason  he  had  appointed  Diego  de  Ordás  and  Francisco 
de  Montejo  who  were  good  men  of  business,  to  go  from 
soldier  to  soldier  among  those  whom  it  was  suspected 
would  demand  their  share  of  the  gold,  and  say  these 
words  :  "  Sirs,  you  already  know  that  we  wish  to  send  His 
Majesty  a  present  of  the  gold  which  we  have  obtained 
here,  and  as  it  is  the  first  [treasure]  that  we  are  sending 
from  this  land  it  ought  to  be  much  greater ;  it  seems  to 
us  that  we  should  all  place  at  his  service  the  portions  that 
fall  to  our  share.  We  gentlemen  and  soldiers  who  have 
here  written  our  names  have  signed  as  not  wishing  to  take 
anything,  but  to  give  it  all  voluntarily  to  His  Majesty,  so 
that  he  may  bestow  favours  on  us.  If  anyone  wishes  for 
his  share  it  will  not  be  refused  him,  but  whoever  renounces 
it  let  him  do  as  we  have  all  done,  and  sign  here." 

In'this  way  they  all  signed  to  a  man.  When  this  was 
settled,  Alonzo  Hernandez  Puertocarrero  and  Francisco  de 
Montejo  were  chosen  as  proctors  to  go  to  Spain,  for  Cortes 
had  already  given  them  over  two  thousand  dollars  to  keep 



them  in  his  interest  The  best  ship  in  the  fleet  was  got 
ready,  and  two  pilots  were  appointed,  one  of  them  being 
Anton  de  Alaminos,  who  knew  the  passage  through  the 
Bahama  Channel,  for  he  was  the  first  man  to  sail  through 
it,  and  fifteen  sailors  were  told  off,  and  a  full  supply  of 
ship's  stores  given  to  them.  When  everything  was  ready, 
we  agreed  to  write  to  tell  His  Majesty  all  that  had 
happened.  Cortes  wrote  on  his  own  account,  so  he  told 
us,  an  accurate  narrative  of  the  events,  but  we  did  not  see 
his  letter. 

The  Cabildo'  wrote  a  letter  jointly  with  ten  of  the 
soldiers  from  among  those  who  wished  to  settle  in  the  land 
and  had  appointed  Cortes  as  their  general,  and  the  letter  was 
drawn  up  with  great  accuracy  so  that  nothing  was  omitted, 
and  I  put  my  signature  to  it ;  and  besides  these  letters  and 
narratives,  all  the  captains  and  soldiers  together  wrote 
another  letter  and  narrative,  and  what  was  contained  in 
the  letter  which  we  wrote  is  as  follows  : 


The  narrative  and  letter  which  we  sent  to  His  Majesty  by  our 
proctors,  Alonzo  Hernandez  Puertocarrero  and  Francisco  de 
Montejo,  which  letter  was  signed  by  a  number  of  the  Captains 
and  soldiers. 

After  beginning  with  the  expressions  of  well  deserved 
respect  which  were  due  from  us  to  the  great  Majesty  of  the 
Emperor  our  Lord,  for  such  his  Cathoh'c  Christian  Royal 
Majesty  was,  and  after  adding  other  matters  which  it  was 
appropriate  to  state  in  a  narrative  and  account  of  our  doings 
and  voyage,  each  chapter  by  itself,  there  followed  this, 
which  I  will  here  briefly  recapitulate.    How  we  sailed  from 

1  Cabildo— Municipality,  the  alguaciles,  etc.,  already  mentioned. 


the  Island  of  Cuba  with  Hernando  Cortes  ;  and  the  pro- 
clamations which  were  made ;  how  we  intended  coming  to 
settle,  but  that  Diego  Velasquez  was  secretly  minded  to 
trade  and  not  to  settle.  How  Cortes  wished  to  return  with 
certain  gold  gained  by  barter  in  accordance  with  the 
instructions  that  he  brought  from  Diego  Velasquez  which 
we  have  submitted  to  His  Majesty.  How  we  insisted  on 
Cortes  forming  a  settlement,  and  chose  him  as  Captain 
General  and  Chief  Justice,  until  His  Majesty  might  please 
to  order  otherwise.  How  we  promised  him  [Cortes]  the  fifth 
of  what  should  be  obtained,  after  the  Royal  fifth  had  been 
deducted.  How  we  arrived  at  Cozumel  and  by  what  chance 
Jerónimo  de  Aguilar  happened  to  be  at  Cape  Catoche, 
and  about  the  way  he  said  that  he  got  there,  he  and  a 
certain  Gonzalo  Guerrero,  who  remained  with  the  Indians 
because  he  was  married  and  had  children  and  had  already 
become  like  an  Indian.  How  we  arrived  at  Tabasco,  and 
of  the  war  they  waged  against  us,  and  the  battle  we  fought 
with  them,  and  how  we  brought  them  to  peace.  How  that 
wherever  we  went  excellent  discourses  were  addressed  to 
them  [the  Indians]  to  induce  them  to  abandon  their  Idols, 
and  matters  concerning  our  Holy  faith  were  explained  to 
them.  How  they  gave  their  fealty  to  His  Royal  Majesty, 
and  became  the  first  vassals  that  he  has  in  these  parts. 
How  they  [the  Indians]  brought  a  present  of  women,  and 
among  them  a  Cacica,  for  an  Indian  a  woman  of  great 
importance,  who  knew  the  Mexican  language,  which  is  the 
language  used  throughout  the  country  and  that  with  her 
and  Aguilar  we  possessed  reliable  interpreters.  How  we 
landed  at  San  Juan  de  Uliia,  and  about  the  speeches  of  the 
Ambassadors  of  the  Great  Montezuma,  and  who  the  Great 
Montezuma  was  and  what  was  said  about  his  greatness, 
and  about  the  present  that  they  brought.  How  we  went 
to  Cempoala,  which  is  a  large  town,  and  thence  to  another 
town  named  Quiahuitztlan,  which  is  fortified,  and  how  in 

O  2 


that  town  an  alliance  and  confederation  was  made  with  us 
and  more  than  thirty  towns  withdrew  their  obedience  from 
Montezuma,  and  all  gave  their  fealty  to  His  Majesty  and 
are  now  part  of  his  Royal  possessions.  The  expedition  to 
Cingapacinga,  how  we  made  a  fortress,  and  that  we  are 
now  on  the  road  to  the  interior  of  the  country  to  see 
Montezuma  himself.  How  this  country  is  very  lai^e  with 
many  cities  and  thickly  peopled  and  the  natives  are  great 
warriors.  How  there  is  a  great  diversity  of  languages 
among  them  and  they  make  war  one  against  the  other. 
How  they  are  idolators  and  kill  and  sacrifice  many  men, 
women  and  children,  and  eat  human  flesh  and  practice 
other  iniquities.  How  the  first  discoverer  was  Francisco 
Hernandez  de  Cordova,  and  Juan  de  Grijalva  came  soon 
after  and  that  now  at  the  present  time  we  offer  him  [His 
Majesty]  the  gold  that  we  have  gained,  that  is,  the  golden 
sun  and  silver  moon  and  a  helmet  full  of  gold  in  grains  as 
they  take  it  from  the  mines,  many  different  kinds  of  golden 
articles  shaped  in  various  ways,  and  cotton  cloths  much 
embroidered  with  feathers,  of  great  excellence,  and  many 
other  golden  objects  such  as  fly  whisks  and  shields,  and 
other  things  which,  as  so  many  years  have  already  gone  by, 
I  cannot  now  call  to  mind.  We  also  present  four  Indians 
whom  we  liberated  in  Cempoala  whom  they  had  kept  in 
wooden  cages  to  fatten,  so  that  when  they  were  fat  they 
might  be  sacrificed  and  eaten.  After  giving  the  report  of 
this  and  other  things,  we  gave  an  account  and  narration 
of  how  we,  four  hundred  and  fifty  soldiers  in  these  his 
Majesty's  dominions,  were  placed  in  very  great  danger 
among  such  a  great  number  of  towns,  and  such  quarrel- 
some people  and  such  great  warriors,  in  order  to  serve 
God  and  His  Royal  Crown,  and  we  begged  him  to  show  us 
favour  in  all  that  we  might  need,  and  that  he  would 
not  grant  the  government  of  these  countries  or  crown 
offices  to  any  person  whatever,  for  they  arc  of  such  quality 

to  THE  EMÍ>EkÓft.  tg^ 

and  so  rich  with  such  great  towns  and  cities,  that  they  are 
suitable  for  an  Infante  or  Great  Lord,  and  we  are  thinking^ 
that  as  Don  Juan  Rodriguez  de  Fonseca,  Bishop  of  Burgos 
and  Archbishop  of  Rosano,  is  President  of  the  Council  and 
rules  all  the  Indies,  that  he  will  give  it  [the  government]  to 
some  relation  of  his  own  or  to  some  friend,  especially  to 
one  Diego  Velasquez  who  is  governor  of  the  Island  of 
Cuba,  and  the  reason  why  he  will  give  him  the  government 
or  any  other  office,  is  that  he  [Diego  Velasquez]  is  always 
giving  him  presents  of  gold  and  has  set  apart  for  him  in 
this  same  island,  townships  of  Indians  to  get  out  the  gold 
from  the  mines,  and  from  among  these  he  ought  first  of  all 
to  have  given  the  best  to  the  Royal  Crown,  but  he  did  not 
set  aside  one  of  them,  and  on  this  account  he  is  not  worthy 
to  receive  favours.  As  in  all  things,  we  are  his  [Majesty's] 
most  loyal  servants,  and  are  ready  to  lay  down  our 
lives  in  his  service,  we  inform  him  of  this  so  that  he  may 
know  all  about  it  and  we  are  determined  that  until  he 
has  deigned  to  permit  our  proctors,  whom  we  are  sending, 
to  kiss  his  feet,  and  has  seen  our  letter,  and  until  we 
see  his  Royal  signature  (when  prostrate  we  may  obey 
his  Royal  commands),  that  should  the  Bishop  of  Burgos 
on  his  own  authority  send  us  any  one  soever  to  govern  us 
or  be  our  captain,  then,  before  obeying  him,  we  would  bring 
it  to  His  Majesty's  personal  knowledge  wherever  he  may 
be,  and  that  whatever  he  should  order,  that  would  we  obey 
as  we  are  bound  to  do,  as  the  command  of  our  King  and 

Besides  these  narratives,  we  begged  him,  until  he 
be  pleased  to  order  otherwise,  to  grant  the  government 
to  Hernando  Cortes,  and  we  praised  him  so  highly  as 
his  most  obedient  servant,  as  to  raise  him  to  the  clouds, 
and  after  having  written  all  these  narratives  with  the 
greatest  respect  and  humility  as  well  as  we  were  able  and 
as  was  proper,  explaining  every  event,  how  and  when  and 

icjÁ  THE  Proctors  sail  for  spaIN. 

in  what  manner  they  happened,  in  the  form  of  a  letter 
intended  for  our  King  and  not  in  the  style  that  is  here  set 
down  in  my  story,  we  captains  and  soldiers  who  were  on 
the  side  of  Cortes,  all  of  us  signed  it.  Two  copies  were 
made  of  the  letter,  and  Cortes  begged  us  to  show  them 
to  him,  and  when  he  saw  such  a  true  narrative,  and  the 
great  praise  which  we  gave  to  him,  he  was  very  pleased 
and  said  that  he  would  remember  it  to  our  credit  and  made 
us  great  promises,  but  he  did  not  wish  us  to  mention  or 
allude  to  the  fifth  of  the  gold  that  we  had  promised  him, 
nor  to  say  who  were  the  first  discoverers,  because,  as  we 
understood,  he  gave  no  account  in  his  letter  of  Francisco 
Hernandez  de  Cordova  nor  of  Grijalva,  but  attributed  the 
discovery,  and  the  honour  and  glory  of  it  all,  to  himself 
alone,  and  he  said  that  now  at  this  time  it  would  be  better 
to  write  thus,  and  not  to  report  it  to  His  Majesty.  There 
were  not  wanting  those  who  said  to  him  that  to  our  King 
and  Lord  nothing  that  had  happened  should  be  left  untold. 
When  these  letters  had  been  written  and  given  to  our 
proctors,  we  impressed  on  them  strongly,  that  on  no 
account  should  they  enter  Havana  or  go  to  a  farm  which 
one  of  them,  Francisco  de  Montejo,  owned  there,  which 
was  called  E/  Marten  and  was  a  harbour  for  ships,  lest 
Diego  Velasquez  should  get  to  know  what  was  happening. 
They  did  not  do  as  they  were  told  as  I  shall  show  later  on. 
When  everything  was  ready  for  them  to  embark,  the  Padre 
de  la  Merced  said  Mass,  commending  them  to  the  guidance 
of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

On  the  26th  July  1519  they  left  San  Juan  de  Uliia  and 
with  good  weather,  arrived  at  Havana,  and  Francisco  de 
Montejo  with  the  greatest  importunity  allured  and  induced 
the  pilot  Alaminos  to  steer  to  his  farm,  saying  that  he  was 
going  to  obtain  supplies  of  pigs  and  cassava,  until  he  got 
him  to  do  what  he  wanted  which  was  to  drop  anchor  at  his 
farm,  for  Puertocarrero  was  very  ill  and  he  (Montejo)  paid 


no  attention  to  him,  and  on  the  very  night  they  arrived 
they  despatched  a  sailor  from  the  ship  by  land  with  letters 
and  information  for  Diego  Velasquez,  and  we  know  that 
Montejo  sent  the  man  who  went  with  the  letters,  and  this 
sailor  went  post  haste  through  the  Island  of  Cuba,  from 
town  to  town  making  known  all  that  I  have  here  told, 
until  Diego  Velasquez  himself  knew  it,  and  what  he  did 
about  it  I  will  tell  later  on. 


How  Diego  Velasquez,  the  Governor  of  Cuba,  learned  for  certain  from 
letters,  that  we  were  sending  proctors  with  an  embassy  and 
presents  to  our  King  and  Lord,  and  what  he  did  about  it. 

As  Diego  Velasquez  the  Governor  of  Cuba  learnt  the  news 
both  from  the  letters  which  were  secretly  sent  him,  (rumour 
said  by  Montejo)  as  well  as  from  the  sailor,  who  had  been 
present  during  all  that  I  have  related  in  the  last  chapter, 
and  who  swam  ashore  to  carry  the  letters  to  him,  and  when 
he  understood  about  the  great  present  of  gold  that  we  were 
sending  to  His  Majesty,  and  knew  who  were  the  Ambas- 
sadors and  proctors,  he  was  taken  with  cold  sweats  as  of 
death  and  uttered  most  lamentable  words  and  curses 
against  Cortes,  and  against  his  own  secretary  Duero,  and 
the  accountant  Amador  de  Lares  who  had  advised  him  to 
make  Cortes  a  general,  and  he  promptly  ordered  two  ships 
of  small  burden  which  were  fast  sailors,  to  be  armed  with 
all  the  artillery  and  soldiers  that  could  be  provided  and 
two  captains,  one  named  Gabriel  de  Rojas,  and  the  other 
so  and  so  de  Guzman,  to  go  in  them  and  he  ordered  them 
to  go  as  far  as  the  Havana,  and  thence  to  the  Bahama 
Channel  and  in  any  case  to  capture  and  bring  the  ship 
in  which  our  proctors  were  sailing  and  all  the  gold  that 
they  were  carrying.  With  all  haste,  in  compliance  with  his 
commands,  they  arrived  after  some  days  of  sailing  at  the 


Bahama  Channel,  and  asked  of  some  of  the  vessels  which 
were  crossing  the  sea  with  cargo  if  they  had  seen  a  ship  of 
large  size  go  by  and  all  gave  news  of  her  and  said  that  she 
would  already  have  passed  out  of  the  Bahama  Channel,  for 
they  had  had  continuous  good  weather.  So  after  beating 
about  with  those  two  ships  between  the  Bahama  Channel  and 
the  Havana  and  finding  no  news  of  what  they  came  to  seek 
they  returned  to  Santiago  de  Cuba,  and  if  Diego  Velasquez 
was  upset  before  he  despatched  the  vessels,  he  was  far 
more  afflicted  when  he  saw  them  return  in  this  way,  and 
his  friends  promptly  advised  him  to  send  to  Spain  and 
complain  to  the  Bishop  of  Burgos  who  was  President 
of  the  Council  of  the  Indies,  and  was  doing  much  for 
him.  He  also  sent  his  complaints  to  the  Island  of 
Santo  Domingo  to  the  Royal  Audiencia  which  resided 
there  and  to  the  Jeronimite  friars  who  were  governors 
of  the  Island,  named  Fray  Luis  de  Figuerea  and  Fray 
Alonzo  de  Santo  Domingo  and  Fray  Bernadino  de 
Manzanedo,  and  these  ecclesiastics  were  wont  to  stay  and 
reside  in  the  Mejorada  Monastery  two  miles  distant  from 
Medina  del  Campo,  and  he  sent  a  ship  post  haste  to 
them  to  make  many  complaints  against  Cortes  and  all  of 
us.  When  they  came  to  know  about  our  great  services, 
the  answer  that  the  Jeronimite  fathers  gave  him  was  that 
no  blame  could  be  laid  on  Cortes  and  those  who  went  with 
him,  for  on  all  matters  we  turned  to  our  King  and  Master, 
and  we  had  sent  him  so  great  a  present,  such  as  had  not 
been  seen  for  a  long  time  past  in  our  Spain,  and  they  said 
this  because  at  that  time  and  season  no  Peru  existed  nor 
any  thought  of  it.  They  also  sent  to  tell  him  that  on  the 
contrary  we  were  worthy  to  receive  the  greatest  favours 
from  His  Majesty ;  at  the  same  time  they  sent  to  Cuba  a 
Licentiate  named  Zuazo  to  take  the  residencies  of  Diego 

^  Residencia — that  is  the  examination  and  formal  account  demanded 
of  a  person  holding  public  office. 


Velasquez,  or  at  least  he  arrived  at  the  Island  a  few  months 
later,  and  this  same  Licentiate  made  his  report   to   the    / 
Jeronimite  Friars.     When  that  reply  was  brought  to  Diego  /. 
Velasquez  he  was  more  dismayed  than  ever,  and  whereas 
before  he  was  very  stout  he  at  this  time  became  thin.   With 
the  greatest  energy  he  at  once  ordered  all  the  ships  that 
could  be  found  in  the  Island  of  Cuba  to  be  searched  out 
and  soldiers  and  Captains  to  be  got  ready,  and  he  took 
steps  to  send   a*  powerful  fleet  to  take  Cortes  and  all  of 
us  prisoners,  and  he  showed  such  personal  energy,  going 
from  town  to  town  and  from  one  estate  to  the  other,  writing 
to  all  parts  of  the  Island  where  he  was  not  able  to  go 
himself,  and  entreating  his  friends  to  go  on  that  expedition, 
that   within    eleven    months   or   a  year   he  got  together 
eighteen  sail,  great  and  small,  and  over  thirteen  hundred 
soldiers  including  captains  and  seamen,  for  as  they  saw 
that   he   was  so   zealous   and   prompt,   all   the   principal 
inhabitants   of  Cuba,  his  relations  as  well  as  those  who 
possessed    Indians,   got   ready    to   serve   him.      He   sent 
as   Captain    General   of   the    Fleet   a   gentleman   named 
Pánfilo  de  Narvaez,  a  man  tall  of  stature  and  robust,  whose  | 
voice  sounded  hollow  as  if  from  a  vault :   he  was  a  native! 
of  Valladolid  and  married  in  the  Island  of  Cuba  a  lady  I 
who  was  already  a  widow,  named  Maria  de  Valenzuela  and 
he  owned  good  towns  of  Indians  and  was  very  rich. 

Here  I  will  now  leave  him,  forming  and  preparing  his 
fleet,  and  will  go  back  to  our  proctors  and  their  good 
voyage,  and  as  three  or  four  things  happened  at  the  same 
time  I  must  leave  the  story  and  subject  which  I  was 
discussing,  so  as  to  be  able  to  speak  of  that  which  is  more 
material,  and  for  this  reason  they  must  not  blame  me- 
because  I  set  out  and  depart  from  the  regular  course 
of  events  in  order  to  speak  of  what  happened  later  on. 



How  our  Proctors  passed  through  the  Bahama  Channel  in  good 
weather  and  in  a  short  time  arrived  in  Castille,  and  what  hap- 
pened to  them  at  Court. 

I  HAVE  already  said  that  our  Proctors  left  the  port  of  San 
Juan  de  Uliia  on  the  6th  July,  1519,  and  after  a  good 
passage  they  arrived  at  Havana  and  they  soon  passed 
through  the  Bahama  Channel,  and  it  is  said  that  this  was 
the  first  time  that  it  was  navigated,  and  in  a  short  time 
they  reach  the  Islands  of  Tercera^  and  thence  went  to 
Seville.  They  journeyed  post  haste  to  the  court  which 
was  at  Valladolid  and  to  the  President  of  the  Royal 
Council  of  the  Indies,  Don  Juan  Rodriguez  de  Fonseca, 
Bishop  of  Burgos  (who  styled  himself  Archbishop  of 
Rosano),  and  ruled  all  the  Court  because  our  Lord  the 
Emperor  was  absent  in  Flanders.^  When  our  proctors 
quite  cheerfully,  expecting  that  he  would  show  them 
favour,  went  to  kiss  the  hands  of  the  President,  and  to  give 
him  our  letters  and  narrative  and  deliver  all  the  gold  and 
jewels,  and  begged  him  to  send  a  messenger  at  once  to 
His  Majesty  to  hand  over  to  him  the  present  and  letters, 
with  whom  they  themselves  would  go  to  kiss  the  Royal 
feet,  he  received  them  with  such  an  evil  frown  and  such  ill 
will,  and  even  spoke  to  them  contemptuously  because  they 
had  thus  addressed  him,  that  our  ambassadors  were  about 
to  retort.  However,  they  restrained  themselves  and  replied 
that  his  Lordship  should  consider  the  great  services  that 
Cortes  and  his  companions  were  rendering  to  His  Majesty 
and  they  again  begged  him  at  once  to  send  all  those 
golden  jewels  and  the  letters  and  narratives  to  His  Majesty 
that  he  might  know  what  had   happened,  and  that  they 

*  Terceira  in  the  Azores. 

2  This  IS  an  error ;  Charles  V  was  in  Catalonia. 


would  go  to  him.  He  retorted  very  haughtily  and  even 
ordered  that  they  should  not  have  charge  of  it  [the  letters 
and  jewels] ;  that  he  himself  would  write  to  say  what  was 
really  happening,  and  not  what  they  reported,  for  they 
had  risen  in  rebellion  against  Diego  Velasquez ;  and  many 
other  bitter  words  passed  between  them. 

At  this  time  Benito  Martin,  Chaplain  to  Diego  Velas- 
quez, who  has  been  already  mentioned  by  me,  arrived 
at  Court,  and  made  many  complaints  against  Cortes  and 
all  of  us,  which  still  more  incensed  the  Bishop  against 
us.  As  Alonzo  Hernandez  Puertocarrero  was  a  gentle- 
man and  cousin  of  the  Count  de  Medellin  (for  Montejo 
held  back  and  did  not  dare  to  displease  the  President),  he 
said  to  the  Bishop  that  he  appealed  to  him  most  earnestly 
to  listen  to  them  without  passion,  and  not  to  utter  such 
words  as  he  had  spoken,  and  at  once  to  despatch  those 
presents  as  they  were  brought  for  His  Majesty  ;  that 
we  were  most  faithful  servants  of  the  Royal  Crown,  and 
worthy  of  favours  and  not  of  insults  and  rude  words. 
When  the  Bishop  heard  that,  he  ordered  him  to  be 
arrested,  for  he  was  told  that  three  years  before,  he 
[Alonzo  Puertocarrero]  had  seized  a  woman  of  Medellin 
and  carried  her  off  to  the  Indies.  So  all  our  merits  and 
presents  of  gold  were  in  the  position  that  I  have  here 
related,  and  our  Ambassadors  decided  to  hold  their 
tongues  until  the  right  time  and  place  should  occur. 

The  Bishop  wrote  to  inlanders  to  his  Majesty  in  favour 
of  his  favourite  and  friend  Diego  Velasquez  and  very  evil 
words  against  Cortes  and  against  all  of  us,  and  he  made 
no  report  of  the  letters  that  we  were  bringing  him,  but 
merely  said  that  Hernando  Cortes  had  risen  in  rebellion 
against  Diego  Velasquez,  and  such-like  things. 

Let  me  go  back  to  say  that  Alonzo  Hernandez  Puerto- 
carrero and  Francisco  de  Montejo  and  even  Martin  Cortes 
the  father  of  Cortes  and  a  certain  Nunez,  a  licentiate  and  a 


Reporter  of  His  Majesty's  Royal  Council  and  a  near  rela- 
tion of  Cortes,  who  worked  on  his  behalf,  decided  to  send  a 
messenger  to  Flanders  with  other  letters,  the  same  as  those 
they  had  given  to  the  Bishop,  for  duplicates  had  been  sent 
by  our  Proctors,  and  they  wrote  to  His  Majesty  an  account 
of  all  that  was  happening,  and  a  memorandum  of  the 
golden  jewels  of  the  present,  and  made  complaint  of  the 
Bishop  and  disclosed  his  business  connection  with  Diego 
Velasquez.  There  were  even  other  gentlemen  who  favoured 
them,  those  who  did  not  stand  well  with  Don  Juan  Rodri- 
guez de  Fonseca,  for  it  was  rumoured  that  he  was  generally 
disliked  on  account  of  the  great  injustice  and  arrogance  he 
displayed  in  the  high  offices  that  he  held.  As  our  great 
services  were  for  God  our  Lord  and  for  His  Majesty,  and 
we  always  put  our  full  strength  into  them,  it  pleased  God 
that  His  Majesty  arrived  at  a  clear  knowledge  of  the 
affair  and  when  he  saw  and  understood  it  he  and  the 
Duke,  Marquises,  Counts  and  other  gentlemen  who  were 
at  his  royal  Court,  showed  such  great  satisfaction  that  they 
talked  of  nothing  else  but  of  Cortes  and  all  of  us  who  were 
helping  him  in  the  conquests  for  several  days,  and  of  the 
riches  we  were  sending  him  from  these  lands.  As  for  the 
letters  of  comment  which  the  Bishop  of  Burgos  had  written 
to  him  about  the  matter,  when  His  Majesty  saw  that  it 
was  all  contrary  to  the  truth,  from  then  onwards  he  took  a 
particular  dislike  to  the  Bishop,  especially  because  he  had 
not  sent  all  the  articles  of  gold  but  had  kept  back  a  great 
number  of  them.  The  Bishop  got  to  know  all  this  when  it 
was  written  to  him  from  Flanders,  and  he  was  very  angry 
about  it,  and  if  the  Bishop  had  spoken  much  that  was  evil 
of  Cortes  and  all  of  us  before  our  letters  had  come  before 
His  Majesty,  from  that  time  forward  he  openly  called 
us  traitors,  but  it  pleased  God  that  he  lost  his  fury  and 
vigour,  and  within  two  years  he  was  defied  and  even 
shamed  and  dishonoured  and   we  were  reputed  as  ver)* 


loyal  subjects,  as  I  shall  relate  further  on  when  occasion 
arises.  His  Majesty  wrote  to  say  that  he  was  soon  coming 
to  Castille  and  would  take  notice  of  the  matters  concerning 
us,  and  would  grant  us  favours.  As  I  shall  later  on 
narrate  more  fully,  how  and  in  what  manner  this  happened, 
I  will  leave  the  matter  here,  with  our  Proctors  awaiting  the 
arrival  of  His  Majesty. 

Before  I  go  on  any  further  I  wish  to  speak  with  regard 
to  what  certain  gentlemen  who  are  curious  in  the  matter 
have  asked  me,  and  they  have  a  right  to  know  about 
it,  how  it  is  that  I  am  able  to  write  down  in  this  narrative 
things  that  I  did  not  see,  as  at  the  time  when  our  Proctors 
delivered  the  letters,  messages,  and  presents  of  gold  which 
they  were  carrying  for  His  Majesty  and  had  these  disputes 
with  the  Bishop  of  Burgos,  I  was  engaged  in  the  conquest  | 

of  New  Spain.  I  say  this,  that  our  Proctors  wrote  to  us 
the  true  conquistador es,  word  for  word  in  Chapters,  all  that 
was  happening,  both  about  the  Bishop  of  Burgos,  as  well  I 

as  what  His  Majesty  was  pleased  to  promise  in  our  favour, 
and  how  it  all  happened  ;  and  Cortes  sent  us  to  the  towns 
where  we  were  living  at  the  time,  other  letters  that  he  had 
received  from  our  Proctors  that  we  might  see  how  well 
they  negotiated  with  His  Majesty  and  how  hostile  the 
Bishop  was  to  us.  This  I  give  as  an  answer  to  what  I 
have  been  asked.  Let  us  leave  this  subject  and  tell  in 
another  chapter  what  happened  in  our  camp. 



What  was  done  in  camp  and  the  judgment  which  Cortes  delivered 
after  our  ambassadors  had  departed  to  go  to  His  Majesty  with  all 
the  gold  and  letters  and  narratives. 

Within  four  days  of  the  departure  of  our  proctors  to 
present  themselves  before  our  Lord  the  Emperor,  as  I 
have  already  narrated,  (as  it  seems  that  men's  hearts 
are  of  many  kinds  and  are  swayed  by  different  thoughts,) 
some  of  the  friends  and  dependents  of  Diego  Velasquez, 
named  Pedro  Escudero,  Juan  Cermeno,  and  Gonzalo  de 
Umbria  a  pilot,  and  Bernaldino  de  Coria,  who  was  after- 
wards a  settler  in  Chiapas,  the  father  of  a  certain  Centeno' 
and  a  priest  named  Juan  Diaz,  and  certain  sailors  who 
called  themselves  Penates^,  natives  of  Gibraltar*,  who  bore 
Cortes  ill  will,  some  of  them  because  he  had  not  given 
them  leave  to  return  to  Cuba  when  he  had  promised  to  do 
so,  others  because  they  had  not  received  their  shares  of  the 
gold  which  had  been  sent  to  Spain,  and  the  Penates  on 
account  of  the  flogging  they  had  received  in  Cozumel  for 
stealing  salt  pork  from  a  soldier  named  Barrio,  as  I  have 
already  related.  These  men  determined  to  seize  a  small 
ship  and  sail  in  her  to  Cuba  to  give  notice  to  Diego  Velas- 
quez and  advise  him  how  at  Havana  he  might  be  able  to 
seize  our  proctors  on  the  estate  of  Francisco  de  Montejo, 
with  all  the  gold  and  the  messages,  for  it  appears  that 
they  [the  conspirators]  had  been  advised  by  other  persons 
in  our  camp  that  they  [the  proctors]  would  go  to  that 
estate  and  they  [the  other  persons]  had  even  written 
to  Diego  Velasquez  that  he  would  have  an  opportunity 
of  capturing  them.  Thus,  these  men,  whom  I  have  named, 
had  already  got  their  stores  in  the  ship,  such  as  cassava 
bread,  oil,  fish,  water,  and  made  other  preparations,  and  the 
time  being  past  midnight,  were  ready  to  embark,  when 

*  Penates  =  rockmen.  *  Gibraleon  in  the  text. 


one  of  them  (it  was  a  certain  Bernaldino  de  Coria)  seems 
to  have  repented  of  his  wish  to  return  to  Cuba,  and  went 
to  report  the  matter  to  Cortes.  When  Cortes  heard  of  it 
and  learned  how  many  there  were  and  why  they  wished  to 
get  away,  and  who  had  given  counsel  and  held  the  threads 
of  the  plot,  he  ordered  the  sails,  compass  and  rudder  to  be 
removed  at  once  from  the  ship,  and  had  the  men  arrested, 
and  their  confessions  taken  down.  They  all  told  the  truth, 
and  their  confessions  involved  in  their  guilt  others  who 
were  remaining  with  us,  but  Cortes  kept  this  quiet  at  the 
time  as  there  was  no  other  course  open  to  him.  The 
sentence  which  Cortes  delivered  was  that  Pedro  Escudero 
and  Juan  Cermeno  should  be  hanged  ;  that  the  pilot 
Gonzalo  de  Umbria,  should  have  his  feet  cut  off,  and  the 
sailors,  Penates,  should  receive  two  hundred  lashes  each, 
and  Father  Juan  Diaz,  but  for  the  honour  of  the  church, 
would  have  been  punished  as  well ;  as  it  was  he  gave  him 
a  great  fright.  I  remember  that  when  Cortes  signed  that 
sentence,  he  said  with  great  grief  and  sighs :  "  Would  that 
I  did  not  know  how  to  write,  so  as  not  to  have  to  sign 
away  men's  lives  !" — and  it  seems  to  me  that  that  saying  is 
common  among  judges  who  have  to  sentence  men  to  death, 
and  is  a  quotation  taken  from  that  cruel  Nero  at  the  time 
when  he  showed  signs  of  being  a  good  Emperor. 

As  soon  as  the  sentence  was  carried  out,^  Cortes  rode  off 
at  break-neck  speed  for  Cempoala  which  was  five  leagues 
distant,  and  ordered  two  hundred  of  us  soldiers,  and  all 
the  horsemen  to  follow  him ;  and  I  remember  that  Pedro 
de  Alvarado,  who  three  days  before  had  been  sent  by 
Cortes  with  two  hundred  soldiers  to  the  hill  towns  so  as  to 
get  enough  to  eat,  for  in  our  town  there  was  a  great 
scarcity  of  supplies,  was  also  ordered  to  go  to  Cempoala, 

*  As  the  signature  of  Juan  Cermeno  is  attached  to  the  letter 
written  by  the  army  in  1520,  it  looks  as  though  the  sentence  was 
not  executed. 


SO  that  orders  could  be  there  issued  for  our  journey  to 
Mexico.  So  Pedro  de  Alvarado  was  not  present  when,  as 
I  have  described,  justice  was  executed. 

The  orders  which  were  issued  when  we  came  together  in 
Cempoala,  I  will  relate  fully  further  on. 


How  we  settled  to  go  to  Mexico  and  to  destroy  all  the  ships  before 
starting,  and  what  else  happened,  and  how  the  plan  of  destroying 
the  ships  was  done  by  advice  and  decision  of  all  of  us  who  were 
friends  with  Cortes. 

Being  in  Cempoala,  as  I  have  stated,  and  discussing  with 
Cortes  questions  of  warfare,  and  our  advance  into  the 
country,  and  going  on  from  one  thing  to  another,  we,  who 
were  his  friends,  counselled  him,  although  others  opposed 
it,  not  to  leave  a  single  ship  in  the  port,  but  to  destroy 
them  all  at  once,  so  as  to  leave  no  source  of  trouble  behind, 
lest,  when  we  were  inland,  others  of  our  people  should 
rebel  like  the  last ;  besides,  we  should  gain  much  additional 
strength  from  the  masters,  pilots  and  sailors  who  numbered 
nearly  one  hundred  men,  and  they  would  be  better  em- 
ployed helping  us  to  watch  and  fight  than  remaining 
in  port. 

As  far  as  I  can  make  out,  this  matter  of  destroying  the 
ships  which  we  suggested  to  Cortes  during  our  conversa- 
tion, had  already  been  decided  on  by  him,  but  he  wished  it 
to  appear  as  though  it  came  from  us,  so  that  if  any  one 
should  ask  him  to  pay  for  the  ships,  he  could  say  that  he 
had  acted  on  our  advice  and  we  would  all  be  concerned  in 
their  payment.  Then  he  sent  Juan  de  Escalante  (who  was 
chief  alguacil  and  a  person  of  distinguished  bravery  and  a 
great  friend  of  Cortes,  and  an  enemy  of  Diego  Velasquez, 
because  he  had  not  given  him  good  Indians  in  the  Island 
of  Cuba)  to  Villa  Rica  with  orders  to  bring  on  shore  all 

OF    HIS    FLEET    TO    BE    DESTROYED.  209 

the  anchors,  cables,  sails,  and  everything  else  on  board 
which  might  prove  useful,  and  then  to  destroy  the  ships 
and  preserve  nothing  but  the  boats,  and  that  the  pilots, 
sailing  masters  and  sailors,  who  were  old  and  no  use  for 
war,  should  stay  at  the  town,  and  with  the  two  nets  they 
possessed  should  undertake  the  fishing,  for  there  was 
always  fish  in  that  harbour,  although  they  were  not  very 
plentiful.  Juan  de  Escalante  did  all  that  he  was  told  to 
do,  and  soon  after  arrived  at  Cempoala  with  a  company 
of  sailors,  whom  he  had  brought  from  the  ships,  and  some 
of  them  turned  out  to  be  very  good  soldiers. 

When  this  was  done,  Cortes  sent  to  summon  all  the 
Caciques  of  the  hill  towns  who  were  allied  to  us  and  in 
rebellion  against  Montezuma,  and  told  them  how  they 
muist  give  their  service  to  the  Spaniards  who  remained  in 
Villa  Rica,  to  finish  building  the  church,  fortress  and 
houses,  and  Cortes  took  Juan  de  Escalante  by  the  hand 
before  them  all,  and  said  to  them  :  "  This  is  my  brother," 
and  told  them  to  do  whatever  he  should  order  them,  and 
that  should  they  need  protection  or  assistance  against  the 
Mexicans,  they  should  go  to  him  and  he  would  come 
in  person  to  their  assistance. 

All  the  Caciques  willingly  promised  to  do  what  might  be 
asked  of  them,  and  I  remember  that  they  at  once  fumigated 
Juan  de  Escalante  with  incense,  although  he  did  not  wish 
it  done.  I  have  already  said  that  he  was  a  man  well 
qualified  for  any  post  and  a  great  friend  of  Cortes,  so  he 
could  place  him  in  command  of  the  town  and  harbour 
with  confidence,  so  that  if  Diego  Velasquez  should  send  an 
expedition  there,  it  would  meet  with  resistance.  I  must 
leave  him  here  and  go  on  with  my  story. 

It  is  here  that  the  historian  Gomara  says  that  when 
Cortes  ordered  the  ships  to  be  scuttled  that  he  did  not 
dare  to  let  the  soldiers  know  that  he  wished  to  go  to 
Mexico  in  search  of  the  great  Montezuma.     It  was  not  as 



he  States,  for  what  sort  of  Spaniards  should  wc  be  not 
to  wish  to  go  ahead,  but  to  linger  in  places  where  there  was 
neither  profit  nor  fighting?  This  same  Gomara  also  says 
that  Pedro  de  Ircio  remained  as  captain  in  Vera  Cruz  ;  he 
was  misinformed.  I  repeat  that  it  was  Juan  de  Escalante 
who  remained  there  as  Captain  and  chief  Alguacil  of  New 
Spain,  and  that  so  far,  Pedro  de  Ircio  had  not  been  given 
any  position  whatever — not  even  charge  of  a  company. 


About  a  discourse  which  Cortes  made  to  us  after  the  ships  had  been 
destroyed,  and  how  we  hastened  our  departure  for  Mexico. 

When  the  ships  had  been  destroyed,  with  our  full  know- 
ledge, and  not  [secretly]  as  is  said  by  the  historian  Gomara, 
one  morning  after  we  had  heard  mass,  when  all  the  captains 
and  soldiers  were  assembled  and  were  talking  to  Cortes 
about  military  matters,  he  begged  us  to  listen  to  him,  and 
argued  with  us  as  follows : — 

"  We  all  understood  what  was  the  work  that  lay  before 
us,  and  that  with  the  help  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  we  must 
conquer  in  all  battles  and  encounters  [that  fell  to  our  lot], 
and  must  be  as  ready  for  them  as  was  befitting,  for  if  we 
were  anywhere  defeated,  which  pray  God  would  not  happen, 
we  could  not  raise  our  heads  again,  as  we  were  so  few 
in  numbers,  and  we  could  look  for  no  help  or  assistance, 
but  that  which  came  from  God,  for  we  no  longer  possessed 
ships  in  which  to  return  to  Cuba,  but  must  rely  on  our  own 
good  swords  and  stout  hearts," — and  he  went  on  to  draw 
many  comparisons  and  relate  the  heroic  deeds  of  the 
Romans.  One  and  all  we  answered  him  that  we  would 
obey  his  orders,  that  the  die  was  cast  for  good  fortune,  as 
Caesar  said  when  he  crossed  the  Rubicon,  and  that  we 

A    LETTER    FROM    JUAN    DE    ESCALANTE.  211 

were  all  of  us  ready  to  serve  God  and  the  King.  After 
this  excellent  speech,  which  was  delivered  with  more 
honied  words  and  greater  eloquence  than  I  can  express 
here,  he  [Cortes]  at  once  sent  for  the  fat  Cacique  and 
reminded  him  that  he  should  treat  the  church  and  cross 
with  great  reverence  and  keep  them  clean ;  and  he  also 
told  him  that  he  meant  to  depart  at  once  for  Mexico  to 
order  Montezuma  not  to  rob  or  offer  human  sacrifices,  and 
that  he  now  had  need  of  two  hundred  Indian  carriers  to 
transport  his  artillery,  for  as  I  have  already  said  these 
Indians  can  carry  two  arrobas^  on  their  backs  and  march 
five  leagues  with  it.  He  also  asked  fifty  of  the  leading 
warriors  to  go  with  us.  Just  as  we  were  ready  to  set  out, 
a  soldier,  whom  Cortes  had  sent  to  Villa  Rica  with  orders 
for  some  of  the  men  remaining  there  to  join  him,  returned 
from  the  town  bearing  a  letter  from  Juan  de  Escalante, 
saying  that  there  was  a  ship  sailing  along  the  coast,  and 
that  he  had  made  smoke  signals  and  others,  and  had  raised 
some  white  cloths  as  banners,  and  had  galloped  along 
on  horseback  waving  a  scarlet  cape  so  that  those  on  ship- 
board might  see  it,  and  he  believed  that  they  had  seen 
his  signals,  banners,  horse  and  cape,  but  that  they  did 
not  wish  to  come  into  the  harbour,  and  that  he  had  sent 
some  Spaniards  to  watch  to  what  place  the  ships  should 
go,  and  they  had  reported  that  the  ship  had  dropped 
anchor  near  the  mouth  of  a  river  distant  about  three  leagues, 
and  that  he  wished  to  know  what  he  should  do. 

When  Cortes  had  read  the  letter  he  at  once  ordered 
Pedro  de  Alvarado  to  take  charge  of  all  his  army  at 
Cempoala  and  with  him  Gonzalo  de  Sandoval  who  was 
already  giving  proofs  of  being  a  very  valorous  man,  as  he 
always  remained.  This  was  the  first  time  that  Sandoval 
was  given  a  command,  and   because  he  was  appointed 

*  Two  arrobas  *  50  lbs. 

^  2 


to  this  command,  and  Alonzo  de  Ávila  was  passed  over, 
there  arose  certain  irritation  between  Alonzo  de  Avila  and 

Then  Cortes  rode  off  at  once  in  company  with  four 
horsemen,  leaving  orders  for  fifty  of  the  most  active 
soldiers  to  follow  him,  and  he  named  those  of  us  who  were 
to  form  this  company  and  that  same  night  we  arrived 
at  Villa  Rica.    What  happened  there,  I  will  tell  further  on. 


How  Cortes  went  to  where  the  ship  was  anchored  and  how  we 
captured  six  of  the  soldiers  and  mariners  who  belonged  to  the 
ship,  and  what  happened  about  it. 

When,  as  I  have  related,  we  reached  Villa  Rica,  Juan  de 
Escalante  came  to  speak  to  Cortes  and  said  that  it  would 
be  as  well  to  go  to  the  ship  that  night,  lest  she  should  set 
sail  and  depart,  and  that  he  would  go  and  do  this  with 
twenty  soldiers  while  Cortes  rested  himself  Cortes  replied 
that  he  could  not  rest,  that  "  a  lame  goat  must  not  nap/* 
that  he  would  go  in  person  with  the  soldiers  he  had 
brought  with  him.  So  before  we  could  get  a  mouthful  of 
food  we  started  to  march  along  the  coast  and  on  the 
road  we  came  on  four  Spaniards  who  had  come  to  take 
possession  of  the  land  in  the  name  of  Francisco  de  Garay 
the  governor  of  Jamaica.  These  men  had  been  sent  by  a 
captain  named  Alonzo  Alvarez  de  Pineda  or  Pinedo,  who 
a  few  days  before  had  made  a  settlement  on  the  Rio 
Panuco.*  These  four  Spaniards  whom  we  captured  were 
named  Guillen  de  la  Loa,  who  had  come  as  notary,  and 
the  witnesses  he  had  brought  with  him  to  take  possession 

1  Pinedo  had  brought  his  ships  right  around  the  Gulf  of  Mexico 
from  the  coast  of  Florida,    See  Orozco  y  Berra^  vol.  iv,  p.  176. 

Arrive:  oíí  thE  méxicían  coasí.  át^ 

of  the  country  were  Andres  Nunez,  who  was  a  boat 
builder,  another  named  Master  Pedro,  he  of  the  harp^ 
from  Valencia,  and  another  whose  name  I  cannot  now 

When  Cortes  clearly  understood  that  they  had  come  to 
take  possession  of  the  country  in  the  name  of  Francisco  de 
Garay,  and  knew  that  he  was  staying  behind  in  Jamaica 
and  sending  captains  to  do  the  work,  Cortes  asked  them  by 
what  right  and  title  those  captains  came.  The  four  men  re- 
plied that  in  the  year  1 518  as  the  fame  of  the  lands  we  had 
discovered  by  the  expeditions  of  Francisco  Hernandez  de 
Cordova  and  Juan  de  Grijalva  and  of  the  twenty  thousand 
golden  dollars  which  we  had  taken  to  Cuba  for  Diege 
Velasquez  had  spread  throughout  the  Islands,  that  then 
Garay  had  information  from  the  pilot,  Anton  de  Alaminos, 
and  the  other  pilot  who  had  accompanied  us,  that  he  could 
beg  from  His  Majesty  the  right  to  all  the  country  he  could 
discover  from  the  Rio  San  Pedro  and  San  Pablo  towards 
the  north. 

As  Garay  had  friends  at  Court  who  could  support  his 
petition,  namely,  the  Bishop  of  Burgos,  the  lawyer  Zapata, 
and  the  secretary  Conchillos,  he  hoped  to  obtain  their 
assistance,  and  he  sent  his  Mayordomo,  named  Torralva,  to 
negotiate  the  matter,  and  this  man  brought  back  a  com- 
mission for  him  as  Adelantado  and  Governor  of  all  [the 
land]  he  could  discover  [north]  of  the  Rio  San  Pedro  and 
San  Pablo.  Under  this  commission  he  at  once  despatched 
three  ships  with  about  two  hundred  and  seventy  soldiers 
and  supplies  and  horses  under  the  captain  whom  I  have 
already  mentioned  named  Alonzo  Alvarez  Pineda  or 
Pinedo,  who  was  settling  on  the  Rio  Panuco,  about 
seventy  leagues  away  ;  and  these  Spaniards  said  that  they 

^  Maestre  Pedro,  el  de  la  Arpa  :— another  named  die  shipmaster 
(or  mate)  Pedro,  he  of  the  harp  (probably  a  musician). 


were  merely  doing  what  their  captain  told  them  to  do,  and 
were  in  no  way  to  blame. 

When  Cortes  had  learned  their  business  he  cajoled  them 
with  many  flattering  speeches  and  asked  them  whether  we 
could  capture  the  ship.  Guillen  de  la  Loa,  who  was  the 
leader  of  the  four  men,  answered  that  they  would  wave 
to  the  ship  and  do  what  they  could,  but  although  they 
shouted  and  waved  their  cloaks  and  made  signals,  they 
would  not  come  near,  for,  as  those  men  said,  their  captain 
knew  that  the  soldiers  of  Cortes  were  in  the  neighbour- 
hood and  had  warned  them  to  keep  clear  of  us. 

When  we  saw  that  they  would  not  send  a  boat,  we 
understood  that  they  must  have  seen  us  from  the  ship  as 
we  came  along  the  coast,  and  that  unless  we  could  trick 
them  they  would  not  send  the  boat  ashore  again.  Cortes 
asked  the  four  men  to  take  off  their  clothes  so  that  four 
of  our  men  could  put  them  on,  and  when  this  was  done  we 
returned  along  the  coast  the  way  we  had  come,  so  that 
our  return  could  be  seen  from  the  ship  and  those  on  board 
might  think  that  we  had  really  gone  away.  Four  of  our 
soldiers  remained  behind  wearing  the  other  men's  clothes, 
and  we  remained  hidden  in  the  wood  with  Cortes  until  past 
midnight,  and  then  when  the  moon  set  it  was  dark  enough 
to  return  to  the  mouth  of  the  creek,  but  we  kept  well 
hidden  so  that  only  the  four  soldiers  could  be  seen.  When 
the  dawn  broke  the  four  soldiers  began  to  wave  their 
cloaks  to  the  ship,  and  six  sailors  put  off  from  her  in 
a  boat.  Two  of  the  sailors  jumped  ashore  to  fill  two  jugs 
with  water  and  we  who  were  with  Cortes  kept  in  hiding 
waiting  for  the  other  sailors  to  land  ;  but  they  stayed 
where  they  were  and  our  four  soldiers  who  were  wearing 
the  clothes  of  Garay's  people  pretended  that  they  were 
washing  their  hands  and  kept  their  faces  hidden.  The 
men  in  the  boat  cried  out :  "  Come  on  board,  what  are  you 
doing  ?  Why  don't  you  come  ?  "   One  of  our  men  answered  : 

tROkí  PÍNEDO^S  wSHlf.  51$ 

"  Come  on  shore  for  a  minute  and  you  will  see."  As  they 
did  not  know  his  voice,  they  pushed  off  with  their  boat, 
and  although  we  shouted  to  them  they  would  answer 
nothing.  We  wanted  to  shoot  at  them  with  muskets  and 
cross  bows,  but  Cortes  would  not  allow  it,  and  said  :  "  Let 
them  go  in  peace  and  report  to  their  captain." 

So  six  soldiers  from  that  ship  remained  in  our  company, 
the  four  we  had  first  captured,  and  the  two  sailors  who  had 
come  ashore.  And  we  returned  to  Villa  Rica  without 
having  had  anything  to  eat  since  we  first  started. 

This  is  really  what  happened  and  not  what  the  historian 
Gomara  relates,  for  he  says  that  Garay  came  at  this 
time ;  but  it  was  not  so,  for  before  he  himself  came  he 
first  sent  three  captains  with  ships,  and  later  on  I  will 
explain  at  what  time  they  came  and  what  happened  to 
them,  and  I  will  tell,  as  well,  about  the  coming  of  Garay. 
But  we  must  get  on  now  and  I  will  relate  how  we  settled 
to  go  to  Mexico. 

The  March  from  Cempoala  to  Tlaxcala. 
Introductory  Note  to  Chapter  LXL 

The  Spaniards  left  Cempoala  on  the  i6th  August  and  crossed  the 
frontier  into  Tlaxcalan  territory  on  the  31st  August. 

Bernal  Diaz  says  that  they  reached  Jalapa  on  the  first  day,  but  that 
is  not  probable.  Between  Jalapa  and  Ixtacmaxtitlan  there  is  no  name 
given  by  Bernal  Diaz  or  Cortes  which  coincides  with  a  name  on  the 
modem  map,  although  the  Socochima  of  the  narrative  is  undoubtedly 
Xico  Viejo,  a  few  miles  from  the  modem  village  of  Xico.  The  ruins 
of  Xico  Viejo  were  recently  visited  by  Dr.  J.  W.  Fewkes,  who  says 
that  *'  the  last  half  mile  of  the  road  is  practically  impassable  for 
horses,  and  must  be  made  on  foot,  justifying  the  statements  of  Gomara 
regarding  the  difficulties  the  horsemen  of  Cortes  encountered  in 
reaching  the  pueblo."  (Twenty-fifth  Annual  Report,  Bureau  of  Ameri- 
can Ethnology,  1903-4-) 

The  Theuhixuacan  mentioned  by  Gomara  must  be  the  Ixuacan  of 
the  modem  map. 

The  Spaniards  passed  to  the  south  of  the  great  mountain  mass  of 
the   Cofre    de  Perote  (13,403  ft.)  between  that  mountain  and  the 


snowcapped  volcano  of  Orizaba  (17,365  ft.)  to   the   tableland    of 

There  is  a  considerable  rise  between  Cempoala  and  Jalapa,  which 
stands  at  an  elevation  of  4608  ft. 

I  am  unable  to  ascertain  the  height  of  the  pass  between  Perote  and 
Orizaba,  but  it  probably  exceeds  10,000  ft.,  followed  by  a  descent  of  I 

about  3000  ft.  to  the  plains  of  Tlaxcala  and  Puebla,  which  are  7000  ft.  f 

to  8000  ft.  above  sea  level. 

According  to  Bemal  Diaz,  the  most  difficult  pass  (Puerto  de  Nombre 
de  Dios)  was  crossed  before  reaching  the  main  divide. 

After  the  passage  between  the  mountains  the  Spaniards  came  to  the 
salt  lakes,  marshes,  and  inhospitable  stretches  of  sand  and  volcanic 
ash  which  extend  along  the  western  slope  of  the  Cofte  de  Peroie. 

It  is  impossible  to  locate  the  exact  route  between  the  mountain  pass 
and  Zocotlan,  as  no  names  are  given  and  part  of  the  country  is  uninha- 
bitable. Zocotlan  itself  was  in  all  probability  the  Zautla  of  the  modem 
map,  but  we  are  not  on  secure  ground  until  the  Spaniards  reach 
Ixtacmaxtitlan,  near  the  Tlaxcalan  frontier.  This  frontier  is  still 
marked  by  the  ruins  of  the  wall  built  by  the  Tlaxcalans  as  a  defence 
against  their  enemies,  but  the  ruins  are  not  marked  on  the  Govern- 
ment map.  However,  the  natural  line  of  travel  would  be  up  stream 
from  Ixtacmaxtitlan,  and  this  would  bring  us  to  a  place  marked  on 
the  map  Altlatlaya  (no  doubt  AialayOy  which  means  a  wtUck  tower)^ 
and  I  have  taken  this  to  be  the  spot  where  the  Spaniards  passed 
the  wall,  and  have  so  marked  it  on  the  map  which  accompanies  this 

The  march  from  Jalapa  to  Zocotlan  must  have  been  a  most  arduous 
one,  and  all  the  more  difficult  horn  the  fact  that  it  was  undertaken 
in  the  middle  of  the  rainy  season.  There  is  a  much  easier,  although 
somewhat  longer,  route  passing  round  the  north  of  Cofrc  de  Perote, 
but  this  was  probably  avoided  by  the  Cempoalans  as  passing  through 
too  much  of  the  enemies'  country. 

Appended  is  an  Itinerary,  with  dates  compiled  from  the  writings  of 
Bemal  Díaz^  Cortes,*  Gomara^  and  Andres  de  Tápia,*  with  the 
modem  spelling  of  some  of  the.  names  taken  from  Padre  Agustin 

16.  Leave  Cempoala. 

18.  Jalapa. 

19.  Xico  (modem  map),  Cocochima  (B.  D.X  Sienchiraalen  (C), 

Sienchimatl  (G.),  Xicochimilco  (R.) 

»(B.D.)  «(C.)  »(G0  *(T.)  *(R.) 


20.  A  high  pass  and  Tejutla  (B.  D.),  Puerto  de  Nombrc  de  Dios  and 

Ceyconacan  (C.)»  Thcuhixuacan  (G.),  Ceycoccnacan,  now 
Ishuacan  de  los  Reyes  (note  to  Cortes'  letter  in  Rivadeneyra 
Edition),  Ixuacan,  modem  map. 

21.  Finish  ascent  of  Mountain  (B.  D.),  Despoblado— uninhabited 


22.  Despoblado.     Lakes  of  salt  water  and  SaIitrales(T.),Salitrales 


23.  Despoblado.     Puerto  de  la  Lena.  March  2  leagues  to 

24.  ^ocotlan  (B.  D.),  Zaclotan  (G.),  Xocotla  (R.),  valley  called  Cal- 

tanmi  (C),  Zacatami  (G.).  Spaniards  called  it  Castil  Blanco. 
Probably  the  Zautla  of  modern  maps. 

25.  Xocotlan. 

26.  Xocotlan. 

27.  Xocotlan.  March  2  leagues  up  the  valley  to 

28.  Iztacmastitan  (C),  Iztacmixtlitan  (G.),  Ixtamaxtitlan  (R.),  Ixta- 

camastitlan  (modem  map). 

Xalacingo  of  Bemal  Diaz  (evidently  an  error.) 

29.  Ixtacmaxtitlan. 

30.  Ixtacmaxtitlan. 

31.  Cross  the  frontier  into  Tlaxcala  at  the  great  wall.     March 

4  leagues,  skirmish  with  force  of  Tlaxcalans  and  Otomies. 

2.  First  battle  with  the  Tlaxcalan  army  under  Xicotenga. 
5.  Second  battle. 
23.  Spaniards  enter  the  city  of  Tlaxcala. 


How  we  settled  to  go  to  the  City  of  Mexico  and  on  the  advice  of  the 
Cacique  we  went  by  way  of  Tlaxcala,  and  what  happened  to  us  in 
our  warlike  engagements  and  other  matters. 

When  our  departure  for  Mexico  had  received  full  con- 
sideration, we  sought  advice  as  to  the  road  we  should  take, 
and  the  chieftains  of  Cempoala  were  agreed  that  the  best 
and  most  convenient  road  for  us  to  take  was  through  the 
province  of  Tlaxcala,  for  they  [the  Tlaxcalans]  were  their 
allies  and  mortal  enemies  of  the  Mexicans. 

Fqrty  chieftains,  all  warriors,  were  already  prepared  to 
accompany  us  and  were  of  great  assistance  to  us  on 
that  journey ;   and  they  provided   us  as  well   with  two 


2lé  THE    MARCH    FROM    CEMtOAÍA  I 

hundred   carriers  to   transport  our  artillery.      We   poor  I 

soldiers  had  no  need  of  help,  for  at  that  time  we  had 
nothing  to  carry  except  our  arms,  lances,  muskets,  cross- 
bows, shields  and  the  like,  with  which  we  both  marched  and 
slept,  and  we  were  shod  with  hempen  shoes,  and  as  I  have 
often  said,  were  always  prepared  for  a  fight 

In  the  middle  of  August,  1519,  we  set  out  from  Ccm- 
poala,  keeping  always  in  good  formation,  with  scouts  and 
some  of  the  most  active  soldiers  in  advance. 

The  first  day  we  marched  to  a  town  named  Jalapa, 
and  thence  to  Socochima,  a  strong  place  with  a  difficult 
approach,  and  inside  there  were  many  vines  of  the  grapes 
of  the  country^  on  trellises.  In  both  these  towns,  through 
our  interpreters.  Dona  Marina  and  Jerónimo  de  Aguilar, 
all  matters  touching  our  holy  religion  were  explained  to  , 

the  people,  and  that  we  were  the  vassals  of  the  Emperor 
Don  Carlos,  who  had  sent  us  to  put  an  end  to  human 
sacrifices  and  robbery,  and  they  were  told  other  things 
which  it  was  advantageous  to  state.  As  they  were  friends 
of  the  Cempoalans  and  did  not  pay  tribute  to  Montezuma, 
we  found  them  very  well  disposed  towards  us,  and  they 
provided  us  with  food.  A  cross  was  erected  in  each  town 
and  its  meaning  was  explained  to  them  and  they  were  told 
to  hold  it  in  great  reverence.  1 

Beyond  Socochima  we  crossed  some  high  mountain 
ranges  by  a  pass,  and  arrived  at  another  town  named 
Texutla,  where  we  were  also  well  received,  for  like  the 
others  they  paid  no  tribute  to  Mexico.     On  leaving  that  j 

town  we  finished  the  ascent  of  the  mountains  and  entered 
an  uninhabited  country,  and  it  was  very  cold  and  hail  and 
rain  fell  that  night.  There  was  a  great  scarcity  of  food  and 
a  wind  came  down  from  the  snowy  hills  on  one  side  of  us 
which  made  us  shiver  with  cold.     As  we  had  come  from 

*  These  were  probably  grenadillas,  the  fruit  of  passion  flowers. 

fð   ÍÍOCOtLAN.  ál$ 

the  Island  of  Cuba  and  from  Villa  Rica,  where  the  whole 
coast  is  very  hot,  and  had  entered  a  cold  country  and  had 
nothing  with  which  to  cover  ourselves,  only  our  armour, 
we  suffered  from  the  frost,  for  we  were  not  accustomed  to  a 
different  temperature. 

Then  we  entered  another  pass  where  there  were  some 
hamlets  and  large  temples  with  idols,  which  I  have  already 
said  are  called  Cues^  and  they  had  great  piles  of  firewood  for 
the  service  of  the  idols  which  were  kept  in  those  temples  ; 
but  still  there  was  nothing  to  eat,  and  the  cold  was  intense. 

We  next  entered  into  the  land  belonging  to  the  town 
of  Xocotlan,  and  we  sent  two  Cempoala  Indians  to  advise 
the  Cacique  how  we  were  faring  so  that  the  people  might 
receive  us  favourably.  This  town  was  subject  to  Mexico, 
so  we  always  marched  on  the  alert  and  in  good  order  for 
we  could  see  that  we  were  already  in  a  different  sort  of 
country,  and  when  we  saw  the  white  gleam  of  the  roof  tops 
and  the  houses  of  the  Caciques  and  the  cues  and  numerous 
oratories,  which  were  very  lofty  and  covered  with  white 
plaster,  they  looked  very  pleasing  like  a  town  in  our  own 
Spain,  so  we  called  the  place  Castilblanco,  for  some 
Portuguese  soldiers  said  that  it  reminded  them  of  Castil- 
blanco in  Portugal,  and  so  it  is  called  to  this  day.  And 
when,  through  our  messengers,  they  knew  in  this  town  that 
we  were  approaching,  the  Cacique  and  other  chieftains 
came  out  to  meet  us  close  by  their  houses.  The  name  of 
the  Cacique  was  Olintecle,  and  he  conducted  us  to  some 
lodgings  and  gave  us  food,  but  there  was  very  little  of  it 
and  it  was  given  with  ill  will. 

As  soon  as  we  had  eaten,  Cortes  asked  through  our 
interpreters  about  their  Lord  Montezuma.  The  chief  told 
us  of  his  great  strength  in  warriors,  which  he  kept  in  all 
the  provinces  under  his  sway,  without  counting  many 
other  armies  which  were  posted  on  the  frontiers  and  in 
neighbouring  provinces,  and  he  [the  chief]  then  spoke  of  the 


great  fortress  of  Mexico,  and  how  the  houses  were  built  in 
the  water,  and  how  one  can  only  pass  from  one  house  to 
another  by  means  of  bridges  which  they  have  made,  or 
canoes ;  and  how  all  the  houses  have  flat  roofs,  which, 
by  raising  breastworks  when  they  are  needed,  can  be 
turned  into  fortresses.  That  the  city  is  entered  by  three 
causeways,  each  causeway  having  four  or  five  openings  in 
it  through  which  the  water  can  flow  from  one  part  to 
another,  and  each  opening  has  a  wooden  bridge  over  it 
so  that  when  any  one  of  those  bridges  is  raised  no  one 
can  enter  the  city  of  Mexico.  Then  the  chief  told  us  of  the 
great  store  of  gold  and  silver,  and  chalchihuite  stones  and 
other  riches  which  Montezuma,  his  lord,  possessed,  and  he 
never  ceased  telling  us  how  great  a  lord  he  was,  so  that 
Cortes  and  all  of  us  marvelled  at  hearing  him.  The  more 
he  told  us  about  the  great  fortress  and  bridges,  of  such  stufi* 
are  we  Spanish  soldiers  made,  the  more  we  wanted  to  try 
our  luck  against  them,  although  it  seemed  a  hopeless 
enterprise,  judging  from  what  Olintecle  explained  and  told 
us.  In  reality  Mexico  was  much  stronger  and  had  better 
munitions  and  defences  than  anything  he  told  us  about,  for 
it  is  one  thing  to  have  seen  the  place  itself  and  its  strength, 
and  quite  another  thing  to  describe  it  as  I  do.  He  added 
that  Montezuma  was  so  great  a  prince  that  he  placed 
anything  he  chose  under  his  rule,  and  that  he  did  not  know 
if  he  would  be  pleased  when  he  heard  of  our  stay  in  that 
town,  and  that  we  had  been  given  lodgings  and  food  without 
his  permission. 

Cortes  replied  through  our  interpreters  : — "  I  would  have 
you  know  that  we  have  come  from  distant  lands  at  the 
order  of  our  lord  and  King,  the  Emperor  Don  Carlos,  who 
has  many  and  great  princes  as  his  vassals,  and  he  sends  us 
to  command  your  great  Prince  Montezuma  not  to  sacrifice 
or  kill  any  more  Indians,  or  to  rob  his  vassals,  or  to  seize 
any  more  lands,  but  to  give  his  fealty  to  our  lord  the  King. 

THE    SPANIARDS    MUST    BE    TEULES !  221 

And  now  I  say  the  same  to  you,  Olintecle,  and  to  all  the 
other  Caciques  who  are  with  you,  desist  from  your  sacri- 
fices, and  no  longer  eat  the  flesh  of  your  own  relations,  and 
cease  to  commit  sodomy,  and  the  other  evil  customs  which 
you  practice,  for  such  is  the  will  of  our  Lord  God,  whom 
we  believe  in  and  worship,  the  giver  of  life  and  death  who 
will  take  us  up  to  heaven." 

He  told  them  many  other  things  concerning  our  holy 
religion,  to  all  of  which  things  they  made  no  reply. 

Cortes  said  to  the  soldiers  who  were  present  around  him  : 
"  It  seems  to  me,  gentlemen,  that  there  remains  nothing  for 
us  to  do  but  to  set  up  a  cross."  But  Padre  Fray  Bar- 
tolomé  de  Olmedo  replied  : — "  It  seems  to  me,  sir,  that  the 
time  has  not  yet  come  to  leave  crosses  in  the  charge  of 
these  people  for  they  are  somewhat  shameless  and  without 
fear,  and  as  they  are  vassals  of  Montezuma  they  may  burn 
the  crosses  or  do  some  other  evil  thing,  and  what  you  have 
said  to  them  is  enough  until  they  know  something  more 
of  our  holy  religion."  So  the  matter  was  settled  and  no 
cross  was  set  up.*  Let  us  leave  this  subject  and  that  of  the 
holy  warnings  which  we  gave  them,  and  I  will  go  on  to  say 
that  we  had  with  us  a  very  large  lurcher  which  belonged  to 
Francisco  de  Lugo,  which  barked  much  of  a  night,  and 
it  seems  that  the  Caciques  of  the  town  asked  our  friends 
whom  we  had  brought  from  Cempoala,  whether  it  was 
a  tiger  or  a  lion,  or  an  animal  with  which  to  kill  Indians, 
and  they  answered  them  :  "  They  take  it  with  them  to  kill 
anyone  who  annoys  them." 

They  also  asked  what  we  did  with  the  artillery  we 
had  brought  with  us,  and  the  Cempoalans  replied  that  with 
some  stones  which  we  put  inside  them  we  could  kill  anyone 
we  wished  to  kill,  and  that  the  horses  ran  like  deer  and 
they  would  catch  anyone  we  told  them  to  run  after.  Then 
Olintecle  said  to  the  other  chiefs :  "  Surely  they  must  be 
Teules ! "    I  have  already  said  that  Teule  is  the  name  they 

222  100,000    HUMAN    SKULLS. 

give  to  their  gods  or  idols  and  such  like  evil  things.  Our 
Indian  friends  replied  :  "  So  at  last  you  have  found  it  out ! 
Take  care  not  to  do  anything  to  annoy  them,  for  they  will 
know  it  at  once  ;  they  even  know  one's  thoughts.  These 
Teules  are  those  who  captured  the  tax  gatherers  of  }our 
great  Montezuma  and  decreed  that  no  more  tribute  should  be 
paid  throughout  the  sierras  nor  in  our  town  of  Cempoala  ; 
and  they  are  the  same  who  turned  our  Teules  out  of  their 
temples  and  replaced  them  with  their  own  gods  and  who 
have  conquered  the  people  of  Tabasco  and  Chanpoton,  and 
they  are  so  good  that  they  have  made  friendship  between 
us  and  the  people  of  Cingapacinga.  In  addition  to  this 
you  have  seen  how  the  great  Montezuma,  notwithstanding 
all  his  power,  has  sent  them  gold  and  cloth,  and  now  they 
have  come  to  your  town  and  we  see  that  you  have  given 
them  nothing ; — run  at  once  and  bring  them  a  present ! " 

It  seems  that  we  had  brought  good  advocates  with  us, 
for  the  townspeople  soon  brought  us  four  pendants,  and 
three  necklaces,  and  some  lizards,  all  made  of  gold,  but 
all  the  gold  was  of  poor  quah'ty ;  and  they  brought  us  four 
Indian  women  who  were  good  for  grinding  maize  for 
bread,  and  one  load  of  cloth.  Cortes  received  these  things 
with  a  cheerful  good  will  and  with  many  expressions  of 

I  remember  that  in  the  plaza  where  some  of  their 
oratories  stood,  there  were  piles  of  human  skulls  so  regularly 
arranged  that  one  could  count  them,  and  I  estimated  them 
at  more  than  a  hundred  thousand.  I  repeat  again  that 
there  were  more  than  one  hundred  thousand  of  them.  And 
in  another  part  of  the  plaza  there  were  so  many  piles  of 
dead  men's  thigh  bones  that  one  could  not  count  them  ; 
there  was  also  a  large  number  of  skulls  strung  between 
beams  of  wood,  and  three  priests  who  had  charge  of  these 
bones  and  skulls  were  guarding  them.  We  had  occasion 
to  see  many  such  things  later  on  as  we  penetrated  into  the 



country  for  the  same  custom  was  observed  in  all  the  towns, 
including  those  of  Tlaxcala. 

After  all  that  I  have  related  had  happened,  we  determined 
to  set  out  on  the  road  to  Tlaxcala  which  our  friends  told  us 
was  very  near,  and  that  the  boundary  was  close  by  where 
some  boundary  stones  were  placed  to  mark  it.  So  we 
asked  the  Cacique  Olintecle,  which  was  the  best  and  most 
level  road  to  Mexico,  and  he  replied  the  road  which  passed 
by  the  large  town  named  Cholula,  and  the  Cempoalans  said 
to  Cortes  : — "  Sir,  do  not  go  by  Cholula  for  the  people  there 
are  treacherous,  and  Montezuma  always  keeps  a  large 
garrison  of  warriors  in  that  town  ; " — and  they  advised  us 
to  go  by  way  of  Tlaxcala  where  the  people  were  their 
friends  and  enemies  of  the  Mexicans.  So  we  agreed  to 
take  the  advice  of  the  Cempoalans,  trusting  that  God 
would  direct  us. 

Cortes  demanded  of  Olintecle  twenty  warrior  chiefs  to  go 
with  us,  and  he  gave  them  at  once.  The  next  morning 
we  set  out  for  Tlaxcala  and  arrived  at  a  little  town 
belonging  to  the  people  of  Xalacingo.  From  this  place  we 
sent  two  of  the  Cempoala  chieftains  as  messengers, 
choosing  two  who  had  said  much  in  praise  of  the  Tlax- 
calans  and  had  declared  that  they  were  their  friends,  and 
by  them  we  sent  a  letter  to  the  Tlaxcalans,  although  we 
knew  that  they  could  not  read  it ;  and  also  a  red  fluffy 
Flemish  hat,  such  as  was  then  worn. 

What  happened  I  will  relate  further  on. 


Introductory  Note, 

Between  the  31st  August  when  the  Spaniards  crossed  the  Tlaxcalan 
frontier  and  fought  a  skirmish  with  some  Otomi-Tlaxcalan  troops,  and 
the  23rd  September  when  they  entered  the  Capital  of  Tlaxcala,  only 
two  dates  are  mentioned  by  Bernal  Diaz.  He  gives  the  2nd  September 
(Gomara  says  the  ist  September)  as  the  date  of  the  first  great  battle 
against  the  Tlaxcalan  army  under  Xicotenca  (Xicotencatl),  and  the 
name  of  the  battlefield  as  Tehuacingo  or  Tehuacacingo,  which  cannot 
now  be  identified. 

After  the  battle  the  Spaniards  took  shelter  in  a  village  with  a  temple 
on  a  hill ;  this  hill  is  still  pointed  out  by  the  natives  as  the  site 
of  Cortes'  camp.  Here  the  Spaniards  formed  a  fortified  camp,  which 
continued  to  be  their  headquarters  until  the  war  was  over,  and  they 
marched  to  the  Capital  of  Tlaxcala. 

Bernal  Diaz  tells  us  that  this  camp  was  near  Cunpanzingo,  probably 
the  Tzompantzingo  of  the  modern  maps. 

Bernal  Diaz  gives  the  5lh  September  as  the  date  of  the  second  great 
battle,  which  was  fought  close  by  the  camp. 

Although  the  accounts  of  the  war  in  Tlaxcala  given  by  Bernal  Diaz 
and  Cortes  agree  in  the  main  points,  they  do  not  always  give  the 
events  in  the  same  order.  It  seems  probable  that  Bernal  Diaz  places 
the  night  attack  too  early,  and  that  it  took  place  after  Xicotenga  had 
sent  the  spies  to  the  Spanish  camp. 

The  boundaries  of  the  so-called  Republic  of  Tlaxcala  appear  to 
have  been  almost  identical  with  those  of  the  modem  state  of  the  same 

It  has  become  a  commonplace  to  describe  the  Tlaxcalans  as  hardy 
mountaineers  and  their  form  of  Government  as  Republican,  but  such 
discrimination  is  misleading.  Their  country  was  no  more  mountainous 
than  that  of  the  Mexicans,  and  their  form  of  Government  was  much 
the  same  as  that  of  other  Nahuá  communities  ;  but  as  they  had 
achieved  no  foreign  conquests,  they  were  compelled  to  be  self-support- 
ing, and  in  that  differed  from  the  Mexicans,  who  were  becoming  a 
military  caste,  supported  to  a  great  extent  by  tribute  from  conquered 
tribes.  Their  country  was  fertile,  and  there  must  have  been  a  large 
agricultural  population,  and  all  the  men  were  inured  to  hardship  and 
continual  border  warfare. 

According  to  Andres  de  Tápia,  the  existence  of  the  Tlaxcalans  as 
an  independent  nation  was  owing  to  the  forbearance  of  the  Mexicans 
themselves,  for  when  he  asked  why  they  had  not  been  conquered, 
Montezuma  himself  answered  :  **  We  could  easily  do  so,  but  then  there 
would  be  nowhere  for  the  young  men  to  exercise  themselves  without 
going  a  long  way  off,  and  besides  we  always  like  to  have  people  tg 
sacrifice  to  our  Gods," 




How  we  decided  to  go  by  way  of  Tlaxcala,  and  how  we  sent  messen- 
gers to  induce  the  Tlaxcalans  to  agree  to  our  passage  through 
their  country,  how  the  messengers  were  taken  prisoners,  and  what 
else  happened. 

O  we  set  out  from  Castilblanco  and 
began  our  march  with  the  scouts  in 
advance,  constantly  on  the  alert,  and 
the  musketeers  and  crossbowmen  in 
good  order,  as  was  necessary,  and  the 
horsemen  in  even  closer  order,  and 
we  all  carrying  our  arms,  as  was 
always  our  custom.  I  will  say  nothing  more  about  this,  for 
it  is  no  use  wasting  words  over  it,  for  we  were  always  so 
much  on  the  alert  both  by  day  and  night  that  if  an  alarm 
had  been  given  ten  times  over  we  should  have  been  found 
ready  every  time. 

In  such  order  we  arrived  at  a  little  town  of  Xalacingo, 
where  they  gave  us  a  golden  necklace  and  some  cloth  and 
two  Indian  women,  and  from  that  town  we  sent  two 
Cempoalan  chieftains  as  messengers  to  Tlaxcala,  with  a 
letter,  and  a  fluffy  red  Flemish  hat,  such  as  was  then 
worn.    We  well  knew  that  the  Tlaxcalans  could  not  read 




the  letter,  but  we  thought  that  when  they  saw  paper 
different  from  their  own,  they  would  understand  that  it 
contained  a  message ;  and  what  we  sent  to  tell  them  was 
that  we  were  coming  to  their  town,  and  hoped  they  would 
receive  us  well,  as  we  came,  not  to  do  them  harm,  but  to 
make  them  our  friends.  We  did  this  because  in  this  little 
town  they  assured  us  that  the  whole  of  TIaxcala  was  up  in 
arms  against  us,  for  it  appears  that  they  had  already 
received  news  of  our  approach  and  that  we  were  accom- 
panied by  many  friends,  both  from  Cempoala  and  Zocotlan, 
and  other  towns  through  which  we  had  passed.  As  all 
these  towns  usually  paid  tribute  to  Montezuma,  the  Tlax- 
calans  took  it  for  granted  that  we  were  coming  to  attack 
TIaxcala,  as  their  country  had  often  been  entered  by  craft 
and  cunning  and  then  laid  waste,  and  they  thought  that 
this  was  another  attempt  to  do  so.  So  as  soon  as  our  two 
messengers  arrived  with  the  letter  and  the  hat  and  began 
to  deliver  their  message,  they  were  seized  as  prisoners 
before  their  story  was  finished,  and  we  waited  all  that  day 
and  the  next  for  an  answer  and  none  arrived. 

Then  Cortes  addressed  the  chiefs  of  the  town  [where  we 
had  halted]  and  repeated  all  he  was  accustomed  to  tell  the 
Indians  about  our  holy  religion  and  how  we  were  vassals 
of  our  Lord  and  King  who  had  sent  us  to  these  parts 
to  put  an  end  to  human  sacrifices,  and  the  eating  of  human 
flesh,  and  the  other  evils  which  they  were  used  to  practise, 
and  he  told  them  many  other  things  which  we  usually 
repeated  in  most  of  the  towns  we  passed  through,  and  after 
making  them  many  promises  of  assistance,  he  asked  for 
twenty  Indian  warriors  of  quality  to  accompany  us  on  our 
march,  and  they  were  given  us  most  willingly. 

After  commending  ourselves  to  God,  with  a  happy 
confidence  we  set  out  on  the  following  day  for  TIaxcala, 
and  as  we  were  marching  along,  we  met  our  two  messengers 
who  had  been  taken  prisoners.     It  seems  that  the  Indians 


who  guarded  them  were  perplexed  by  the  warlike  prepara- 
tions and  had  been  careless  of  their  charge,  and  in  fact,  had 
let  them  out  of  prison.  They  arrived  in  such  a  state  of 
terror  at  what  they  had  seen  and  heard  that  they  could 
hardly  succeed  in  expressing  themselves. 

According  to  their  account,  when  they  were  prisoners 
the  Tlaxcalans  had  threatened  them,  saying  :  "  Now  we  are 
going  to  kill  those  whom  you  call  Teules,  and  eat  their 
flesh,  and  we  will  see  whether  they  are  as  valiant  as  you 
announce ;  and  we  shall  eat  your  flesh  too,  you  who  come 
here  with  treasons  and  lies  from  that  traitor  Montezuma  ! " 
and  for  all  that  the  messengers  could  say,  that  we  were 
against  the  Mexicans,  and  wished  to  be  brothers  to  the 
Tlaxcalans,  they  could  not  persuade  them  of  its  truth. 

When  Cortes  and  all  of  us  heard  those  haughty  words, 
and  learned  how  they  were  prepared  for  war,  although  it 
gave  us  matter  for  serious  thought,  we  all  cried  : — "  If  this 
is  so,  forward — and  good  luck  to  us!"  We  commended 
ourselves  to  God  and  marched  on,  the  Alferez,  Corral, 
unfurling  our  banner  and  carrying  it  before  us,  for  the 
people  of  the  little  town  where  we  had  slept,  as  well  as  the 
Cempoalans  assured  us  that  the  Tlaxcalans  would  come  out 
to  meet  us  and  resist  our  entry  into  their  country. 

Marching  along  as  I  have  described,  we  discussed  how 
the  horsemen — in  parties  of  three  so  as  to  help  one  another 
— should  charge  and  return  at  a  hand  gallop  with  their 
lances  held  rather  short,  and  when  they  broke  through 
the  hostile  ranks  should  hold  their  lances  before  their 
faces  and  not  stop  to  give  thrusts,  so  that  the  Indians 
should  not  be  able  to  seize  hold  of  their  lances ;  and  if 
by  chance  a  lance  were  seized,  the  horseman  should  use 
all  his  strength  and  put  spurs  to  his  horse,  so  that  helped 
by  the  leverage  of  the  lance  held  beneath  his  arm,  the 
furious  rush  of  the  horse  might  enable  him  to  wrench  it 
from  the  grasp  of  the  Indian,  or  should  drag  him  along  with 



it.  It  will  be  said  to-day — ^what  was  the  use  of  all  this 
preparation  when  there  were  no  hostile  warriors  in  sight  to 
attack  us  ?  I  answer  this  by  repeating  the  words  of 
Cortes  : — "  Gentlemen  and  comrades,  seeing  bow  few  of  us 
there  are,  it  behoves  us  to  be  always  as  well  prepared  and 
as  much  on  the  alert  as  though  we  saw  the  enemy 
approaching  to  attack  us,  and  not  only  saw  them  approach- 
ing, but  we  should  behave  as  though  we  were  already 
fighting  them  ;  and,  as  it  often  happens  that  they  seize  the 
lances  with  their  hands,  we  have  to  be  prepared  for  such  an 
emergency  as  well  as  for  anything  else  that  may  happen 
to  a  soldier.  I  have  fully  understood  that,  when  fighting, 
there  should  be  no  need  of  directions,  for  I  know,  and  am 
very  willing  to  acknowledge  it,  that  you  behave  much  more 
courageously  [without  them]." 

In  this  way  we  marched  about  two  leagues,  when  we 
came  upon  a  fortress  strongly  built  of  stone  and  lime  and 
some  other  cement,  so  strong  that  with  iron  pickaxes  it 
was  difficult  to  demolish  it  and  it  was  constructed  in  such 
a  way  both  for  offence  and  defence,  that  it  would  be  very 
difficult  to  capture.  We  halted  to  examine  it,  and  Cortes 
asked  the  Indians  from  Zocotlan  for  what  purpose  the 
fortress  had  been  built  in  such  a  way.  They  replied  that, 
as  war  was  always  going  on  between  the  people  of  Tlaxcala 
and  their  lord,  Montezuma,  the  Tlaxcalans  had  built  this 
fort  so  strong  the  better  to  defend  their  towns,  for  we  were 
already  in  their  territory.  We  rested  awhile  and  this,  our 
entry  into  the  land  of  Tlaxcala  and  the  fortress,  gave  us 
plenty  to  think  about.  Cortes  said  :  "  Sirs,  let  us  follow 
our  banner  which  bears  the  sign  of  the  holy  cross,  and 
through  it  we  shall  conquer!*'  Then  one  and  all  we 
answered  him  :  "  May  good  fortune  attend  our  advance,  for 
in  God  lies  the  true  strength."  So  we  began  our  march 
again  in  the  order  I  have  already  noted. 

We  had  not  gone  far  when  our  scouts  observed  about 


thirty  Indians  who  were  spying.  These  carried  two-handed 
swords,  shields,  lances  and  plumes  of  feathers.  The  swords 
are  made  with  stones  which  cut  worse  than  knives,  so 
cleverly  arranged,  that  one  can  neither  break  nor  pull  out 
the  blades  ;  they  are  as  long  as  broadswords  ;  and  as  I  have 
already  said,  these  spies  wore  devices  and  feather  head- 
dresses, and  when  our  scouts  observed  them  they  came 
back  to  give  us  notice.  Cortes  then  ordered  the  same 
scouts  to  follow  the  spies,  and  to  try  and  capture  one  of 
them  without  hurting  them ;  and  then  he  sent  five  more 
mounted  men  as  a  support,  in  case  there  should  be  an 
ambush.  Then  all  our  army  hastened  on  in  good  order 
and  with  quick  step,  for  our  Indian  friends  who  were  with 
us  said  that  there  was  sure  to  be  a  large  body  of  warriors 
waiting  in  ambush. 

When  the  thirty  Indian  spies  saw  the  horsemen 
coming  towards  them,  and  beckoning  to  them  with  their 
hands,  they  would  not  wait  for  them  to  come  up  and 
capture  one  of  them  ;  furthermore,  they  defended  them- 
selves so  well,  that  with  their  swords  and  lances  they 
wounded  some  of  the  horses. 

When  our  men  saw  how  fiercely  the  Indians  fought 
and  that  their  horses  were  wounded,  they  were  obliged 
to  kill  five  of  the  Indians.  As  soon  as  this  happened,  a 
squadron  of  Tlaxcalans,^  more  than  three  thousand  strong, 
which  was  lying  in  ambush,  fell  on  them  all  of  a  sudden, 
with  great  fury  and  began  to  shower  arrows  on  our  horse- 
men who  were  now  all  together ;  and  they  made  a  good 
fight  with  their  arrows  and  fire-hardened  darts,  and  did 
wonders  with  their  two-handed  swords.  At  this  moment 
we  came  up  with  our  artillery,  muskets  and  crossbows,  and 

»  Probably  Otomis  from  the  Otomi  town  of  Tecoac.  Cortes  says 
the  chiefs  of  Tlaxcala  sent  messengers  to  say  that  the  attack  was  made 
by  communities  (of  Otomis?)  without  their  knowledge. 


little  by  little  the  Indians  gave  way,  but  they  had  kept 
their  ranks  and  fought  well  for  a  considerable  time. 

In  this  encounter  they  wounded  four  of  our  men  and 
I  think  that  one  of  them  died  of  his  wounds  a  few  days 

As  it  was  now  late  the  Tlaxcalans  beat  a  retreat  and  we 
did  not  pursue  them  ;  they  left  about  seventeen  dead  on 
the  field,  not  counting  many  wounded.  Where  these 
skirmishes  took  place  the  ground  was  level  and  there  were 
many  houses  and  plantations  of  maize  and  magueys,  which 
is  the  plant  from  which  they  make  their  wine. 

We  slept  near  a  stream,  and  with  the  grease  from  a 
fat  Indian  whom  we  had  killed  and  cut  open,  we  dressed 
our  wounds,  for  we  had  no  oil,  and  we  supped  very  well  on 
some  dogs  which  the  Indians  breed  [for  food]  for  all 
the  houses  were  abandoned  and  the  provisions  carried  off, 
and  they  had  even  taken  the  dogs  with  them,  but  these 
came  back  to  their  homes  in  the  night,  and  there  we 
captured  them,  and  they  proved  good  enough  food. 

All  night  we  were  on  the  alert  with  watches  and  patrols 
and  scouts,  and  the  horses  bitted  and  saddled,  in  fear  lest 
the  Indians  would  attack  us. 

I  will  leave  off  here  and  go  on  .to  tell  of  the  war  they 
waged  against  us. 


Of  the  war  which  was  waged  and  the  perilous  battles  which  we  fought 
against  the  Tlaxcalans,  and  what  else  happened. 

The  next  day,  after  commending  ourselves  to  God,  we  set 
out  with  all  our  ranks  in  good  order,  the  horsemen  well 
instructed  in  the  way  they  should  charge  through  the 
enemy  and  return  to  us,  and  to  see  that  the  enemy  should 
not  be  permitted  to  break  our  ranks  and  separate  us  one 

A  GREAT  BATTLE  IS  FOUGHT.         23! 

from  the  other.  As  we  thus  marched  on,  two  armies  of 
warriors  approached  to  give  us  battle.  They  numbered 
six  thousand  men  [and  they  came  on  us]  with  loud  shouts 
and  the  din  of  drums  and  trumpets,  as  they  shot  their 
arrows  and  hurled  their  darts  and  acted  like  brave  warriors. 
Cortes  ordered  us  to  halt,  and  sent  forward  the  three 
prisoners  whom  we  had  captured  the  day  before,  to  tell 
them  not  to  make  war  on  us  as  we  wished  to  treat  them  as 
brothers.  He  also  told  one  of  our  soldiers,  named  Diego 
de  Godoy,  who  was  a  royal  notary,  to  watch  what  took 
place  so  that  he  could  bear  witness  if  it  should  be  necessary, 
so  that  at  some  future  time  we  should  not  have  to  answer 
for  the  deaths  and  damages  which  were  likely  to  take 
place,  for  we  begged  them  to  keep  the  peace. 

When  the  three  prisoners  whom  we  had  sent  forward 
began  to  speak  to  the  Indians,  it  only  increased  their  fur>^ 
and  they  made  such  an  attack  on  us  that  we  could  not 
endure  it.  Then  Cortes  shouted  : — "  Santiago— and  at 
them  1 "  and  we  attacked  them  with  such  impetuosity 
that  we  killed  and  wounded  many  of  them  with  our  fire 
and  among  them  three  captains.  They  then  began  to 
retire  towards  some  ravines,  where  over  forty  thousand 
warriors  and  their  captain  general,  named  Xicotenga,  were 
lying  in  ambush,  all  wearing  a  red  and  white  device  for 
that  was  the  badge  and  livery  of  Xicotenga 

As  there  was  broken  ground  there  we  could  make  no  use 
of  the  horses,  but  by  careful  manœuvring  we  got  past  it, 
but  the  passage  was  very  perilous  for  they  made  play  with 
their  good  archery  and  with  their  lances  and  broadswords 
did  us  much  hurt,  and  the  hail  of  stones  from  their  slings 
was  even  more  damaging.  When  we  reached  the  level 
ground  with  our  horsemen  and  artillery,  we  paid  them  back 
and  slew  many  of  them,  but  we  did  not  dare  to  break  our 
formation,  for  any  soldier  who  left  the  ranks  to  follow  some 
of  the   Indian   captains    and    swordsmen    was    at    once 


wounded  and  ran  great  danger.  As  the  battle  went  on 
they  surrounded  us  on  all  sides  and  we  could  do  little 
or  nothing.  We  dared  not  charge  them,  unless  we  charged 
all  together,  lest  they  should  break  up  our  formation  ;  and 
if  we  did  charge  them,  as  I  have  said,  there  were  twenty 
squadrons  ready  to  resist  us,  and  our  lives  were  in  great 
danger  for  they  were  so  numerous  they  could  have  blinded 
us  with  handfuls  of  earth,  if  God  in  his  great  mercy  had 
not  succoured  us. 

While  we  found  ourselves  in  this  conflict  among  these 
great  warriors  and  their  fearful  broad  swords,  we  noticed 
that  many  of  the  strongest  among  them  crowded  together 
to  lay  hands  on  a  horse.  They  set  to  work  with  a  furious 
attack,  laying  hands  on  a  good  mare  known  to  be  very 
handy  either  for  sport  or  for  charging.  The  rider,  Pedro 
de  Moron,  was  a  very  good  horseman,  and  as  he  charged 
with  three  other  horsemen  into  the  ranks  of  the  enemy 
(they  were  ordered  thus  to  charge  together,  so  as  to  help 
one  another)  the  Indians  seized  hold  of  his  lance  and  he 
was  not  able  to  drs^  it  away,  and  others  gave  him  cuts 
with  their  broadswords  and  wounded  him  badly,  and  then 
they  slashed  at  the  mare,  and  cut  her  head  off  at  the  neck 
so  that  it  hung  by  the  skin,  and  she  fell  dead.  If  his 
mounted  companions  had  not  come  at  once  to  his  rescue 
they  would  also  have  finished  killing  Pedro  de  Moron. 
We  might  possibly  have  helped  him  with  our  whole 
battalion,  but  I  repeat  again  that  we  hardly  dared  to  move 
from  one  place  to  another  for  fear  that  they  would  finally 
rout  us,  and  we  could  not  move  one  way  or  another ;  i^ 
was  all  we  could  do  to  hold  our  own  and  prevent  ourselves 
from  being  defeated.  However,  we  rushed  to  the  conflict 
around  the  mare  and  managed  to  save  Moron  from  the 
hands  of  the  enemy  who  were  already  dragging  him  off 
half  dead  and  we  cut  the  mare's  girths  so  as  not  to  leave 
the  saddle  behind.     In  that  act  of  rescue,  ten  of  our  men 


were  wounded  and  I  remember  that  at  the  same  time 
we  killed  four  of  the  (Indian)  captains,  for  we  were 
advancing  in  close  order  and  we  did  great  execution  with 
our  swords.  When  this  had  happened,  the  enemy  began 
to  retire,  carrying  the  mare  with  them,  and  they  cut  her  in  ^ 
pieces  to  exhibit  in  all  the  towns  of  Tlaxcala,  and  we 
learnt  afterwards  that  they  made  an  offering  to  their  idols 
of  the  horseshoes,  of  the  Flemish  felt  hat,  and  the  two 
letters  which  we  had  sent  them  offering  peace. 

The  mare  that  was  killed  belonged  to  Juan  Sedefto  and 
it  was  because  Sedeno  had  received  three  wounds  the  day 
before  that  he  had  given  her  to  Moron  who  was  a  good 
horseman.  I  did  not  see  Moron  again  for  he  died  of  his 
wounds  two  days  later. 

To  return  to  our  battle :  we  were  a  full  hour  fighting  in 
the  fray,  and  our  shots  must  have  done  the  enemy  much 
damage  for  they  were  so  numerous  and  in  such  close 
formation,  that  each  shot  must  have  hit  many  of  them. 
Horsemen,  musketeers,  crossbowmen,  swordsmen,  and  those 
who  used  lance  and  shield,  one  and  all,  we  fought  like  men 
to  save  our  lives  and  to  do  our  duty,  for  we  were  certainly 
in  the  greatest  danger  in  which  we  had  ever  found  our- 
selves. Later  on  they  told  us  that  we  killed  many  Indians 
in  this  battle,  and  among  them  eight  of  their  leading 
captains,  sons  of  the  old  Caciques  who  lived  in  their 
principal  town,  and  for  this  reason  they  drew  off  in  good 
order.  We  did  not  attempt  to  follow  them,  and  we  were 
not  sorry  for  it  as  we  were  so  tired  out  we  could  hardly 
stand,  and  we  stayed  where  we  were  in  that  little  town. 
All  the  country  round  was  thickly  peopled,  and  they  even 
have  some  houses  underground  like  caves  in  which  many 
of  the  Indians  live. 

The  place  where  this  battle  took  place  is  called  Tehua- 
cingo  or  Tehuacacingo  and  it  was  fought  on  the  2nd  day 
of  the  month  of  September  in  the  year  1519.     When  we 


saw  that  victory  was  ours  we  gave  thanks  to  God  who  had 
delivered  us  from  such  g^eat  danger. 

From  the  field  of  battle  we  withdrew  the  whole  force  to 
some  Cues  which  were  strong  and  lofty  like  a  fortress.  We 
dressed  the  wounded  men,  who  numbered  fifteen,  with  the 
fat  of  the  Indian  I  mentioned  before.  One  man  died  of 
his  wounds.  We  also  doctored  four  or  five  horses  which 
had  received  wounds,  and  we  rested  and  supped  very  well 
that  night,  for  we  found  a  good  supply  of  poultry  and  little 
dogs  in  the  houses.  And  taking  every  precaution  by 
posting  spies,  patrols  and  scouts,  we  rested  until  the  next 

In  that  battle  we  captured  fifteen  Indians,  two  of  them 
chieftains.  There  was  one  peculiarity  that  the  Tlaxcalans 
showed  in  this  and  all  the  other  battles — that  was  to  carry 
off  any  Indian  as  soon  as  he  was  wounded  so  that  we 
should  not  be  able  to  see  their  dead. 


How  we  pitched  our  camp  in  some  towns  and  hamlets  called 
Teoa^ingo  or  Teva9Íngo  and  what  we  did  there. 

As  we  felt  weary  after  the  battles  we  had  fought,  and  many 
of  the  soldiers  and  horses  were  wounded  and  some  died 
there,  and  it  was  necessary  to  repair  the  crossbows  and 
replenish  our  stock  of  darts,  we  passed  one  day  without 
doing  anything  worthy  of  mention.  The  following  morning 
Cortes  said  that  it  would  be  as  wqll  for  all  the  horsemen 
who  were  fit  for  work  to  scour  the  country,  so  that  the 
Tlaxcalans  should  not  think  that  we  had  given  up  fighting 
on  account  of  the  last  battle,  and  that  they  should  see  that 
we  meant  to  follow  them  up  ;  for  on  the  previous  day  we 
had  halted  without  sallying  forth  to  look  for  them,  and  it 
was  better  for  us  to  go  out  and  attack  them  than  for  them 


to  come  and  attack  us  and  thus  find  out  our  weakness. 
As  the  country  was  level  and  thickly  populated,  we  set  out 
with  seven  horsemen  and  a  few  musketeers  and  crossbow- 
men  and  about  two  hundred  soldiers  and  our  Indian  allies, 
leaving  the  camp  as  well  guarded  as  was  possible.  In  the 
houses  and  towns  through  ^ich  we  passed,  we  captured 
about  twenty  Indian  men  and  women  without  doing  them 
any  hurt,  but  our  allies,  who  are  a  cruel  people,  burnt  many 
of  the  houses  and  carried  off  much  poultry  and  many  dogs 
for  food.  When  we  returned  to  the  camp  which  was  not 
far  off,  Cortes  set  the  prisoners  free,  after  giving  them 
something  to  eat,  and  Dofla  Marina  and  Aguilar  spoke 
kindly  to  them  and  gave  them  beads  and  told  them  not  to 
be  so  mad  any  longer,  but  to  make  peace  with  us,  as 
we  wished  to  help  them  and  treat  them  as  brothers.  Then 
we  also  released  the  two  prisoners  who  were  chieftains  and 
they  were  given  another  letter,  and  were  to  tell  the  high 
Caciques  who  lived  in  the  town — which  was  the  capital  of 
all  the  towns  of  the  province — that  we  had  not  come  to  do 
them  any  harm  or  to  annoy  them,  but  to  pass  through 
,  their  country  on  our  way  to  Mexico  to  speak  to  Montezuma. 
The  two  messengers  went  to  Xicotenga's  camp  which  was 
distant  about  two  leagues  among  some  towns  and  houses 
which  I  think  they  called  Cuad9Ínpacingo,  and  when  they 
gave  him  the  letter  and  our  message  the  reply  that  their 
captain  Xicotenga  gave  them  was,  that  we  might  go  to  his 
town  where  his  father  was  living ;  that  there  peace  would 
be  made  by  satiating  themselves  on  our  flesh,  and  honour 
paid  to  his  gods  with  our  hearts  and  blood,  and  that  we 
should  see  his  answer  the  very  next  day. 

When  Cortes  and  all  of  us  heard  that  haughty  message, 
as  we  were  already  tired  out  with  the  battles  and  encounters 
we  had  passed  through,  we  certainly  did  not  think  that 
things  looked  well.  So  Cortes  flattered  the  messengers 
with  soft  words  for  it  seemed  that  they  had  lost  all  fear, 


and  ordered  them  to  be  given  some  strings  of  beads,  as  he 
wished  to  send  them  back  as  messengers  of  peace. 

Cortes  then  learned  from  them  more  fully  all  about  the 
Captain  Xicotenga,  and  what  forces  he  had  with  him. 
They  told  him  that  Xicotcnga  had  many  more  men  with 
him  now  than  he  had  when  he  attacked  us  before  for 
he  had  five  captains  with  him  and  each  captain  had 
brought  ten  thousand  warriors.  This  was  the  way  in 
which  the  count  was  made  :  Of  the  followers  of  Xicotenga 
who  was  blind  from  age — the  father  of  the  captain  of  the 
same  name — ten  thousand ;  of  the  followers  of  another 
great  chief  named  Mase  Escasi,^  another  ten  thousand  ;  of 
the  followers  of  another  great  chief  named  Chichimeca- 
tecle,*  the  same  number ;  of  another  great  Cacique,  lord  of 
Topeyanco,  named  Tecapacaneca,  another  ten  thousand ; 
and  of  another  great  chief  named  Guaxoban,  another  ten 
thousand  ;  so  that  there  were  in  all  fifty  thousand.  That 
their  banner  and  standard  had  been  brought  out,  which  was 
a  white  bird  with  the  appearance  of  an  ostrich,  with  wings 
outstretched,  as  though  it  wished  to  fly,  and  that  each 
company  had  its  device  and  uniform,  for  each  Cacique  had 
a  different  one,  as  do  our  dukes  and  counts  in  our  own 

All  that  I  have  here  said  we  accepted  as  perfectly  true, 
for  certain  Indians  among  those  whom  we  had  captured 
and  who  were  released  that  day,  related  it  very  clearly, 
although  they  were  not  then  believed.  When  we  knew 
this,  as  we  were  but  human  and  feared  death,  many  of  us, 
indeed  the  majority  of  us,  confessed  to  the  Padre  de  la 
Merced  and  to  the  priest,  Juan  Diaz,  who  were  occupied 
all  night  in  hearing  our  repentance  and  commending  us  to 
God  and  praying  that  He  would  pardon  us  and  save  us 

^  Maxixcatzin. 

^  Chichimecatecuhtli. 


from  defeat.  In  this  way  the  time  passed  until  the  next 
day,  and  the  attack  which  they  made  on  us  I  will  now 


Concerning  the  great  battle  which  we  fought  against  the  forces  of 
Tlaxcala,  in  which  it  pleased  our  Lord  God  to  give  us  the  victory, 
and  what  else  happened. 

The  next  morning,  the  Sth  of  September,  15 19,  we  mus- 
tered the  horses.  There  was  not  one  of  the  wounded  men 
who  did  not  come  forward  to  join  the  ranks  and  give 
as  much  help  as  he  could.  The  crossbow  men  were  warned 
to  use  the  store  of  darts  very  cautiously,  some  of  them 
loading  while  the  others  were  shooting,  and  the  musketeers 
were  to  act  in  the  same  way,  and  the  men  with  sword  and 
shield  were  instructed  to  aim  their  cuts  and  thrusts  at  the 
bowels  [of  their  enemies]  so  that  they  would  not  dare  to 
come  as  close  to  us  as  they  did  before.  The  artillery  was 
all  ready  for  action,  and  the  horsemen  had  already  been 
instructed  to  aid  one  another  and  to  hold  their  lances  short, 
and  not  to  stop  to  spear  anyone  except  in  the  face  and 
eyes— charging  and  returning  at  a  hand  gallop  and  no 
soldier  was  on  any  account  to  break  away  from  the  ranks. 
With  our  banner  unfurled,  and  four  of  our  comrades 
guarding  the  standard-bearer.  Corral,  we  set  out  from  our 
camp.  We  had  not  marched  half  a  quarter  of  a  league 
before  we  began  to  see  the  fields  crowded  with  warriors 
with  great  feather  crests  and  distinguishing  devices,  and  to 
hear  the  blare  of  horns  and  trumpets. 

Here  would  be  a  great  opportunity  to  write  down  in 
proper  order  what  happened  to  us  in  this  most  perilous 
and  doubtful  battle,  for  so  many  warriors  surrounded  us 
on  all  sides  that  [the  situation]  might  be  compared  to  a 


great  plain,  two  leagues  long  and  about  the  same  breadth, 
and  in  its  midst,  four  hundred  men.  Thus  all  the  plain 
was  swarming  with  warriors  and  we  stood  four  hundred 
men  in  number,  and  of  those  many  sick  and  wounded. 
And  we  knew  for  certain  that  this  time  our  foe  came  with 
the  determination  to  leave  none  of  us  alive  excepting  those 
who  would  be  sacrificed  to  their  idols. 

To  go  back  to  our  battle  :  How  they  began  to  charge  on 
us !  What  a  hail  of  stones  sped  from  their  slings !  As  for 
their  bowmen,  the  javelins  lay  like  com  on  the  threshing 
floor  ;  all  of  them  barbed  and  fire- hardened,  which  would 
pierce  any  armour  and  would  reach  the  vitals  where  there 
is  no  protection  ;  the  men  with  swords  and  shields  and 
other  arms  larger  than  swords,  such  as  broadswords,  and 
lances,  how  they  pressed  on  us  and  with  what  valour  and 
what  mighty  shouts  and  yells  they  charged  upon  us  !  The 
steady  bearing  of  our  artillery,  musketeers  and  crossbow- 
men,  was  indeed  a  help  to  us,  and  we  did  the  enemy  much 
damage,  and  those  of  them  who  came  close  to  us  with 
their  swords  and  broadswords  met  with  such  sword  play 
from  us  that  they  were  forced  back  and  they  did  not  close 
in  on  us  so  often  as  in  the  last  battle.  The  horsemen  were 
so  skilful  and  bore  themselves  so  valiantly  that,  after  God 
who  protected  us,  they  were  our  bulwark.  However,  I  saw 
that  our  troops  were  in  considerable  confusion,  so  that 
neither  the  shouts  of  Cortes  nor  the  other  captains  availed 
to  make  them  close  up  their  ranks,  and  so  many  Indians 
charged  down  on  us  that  it  was  only  by  a  miracle  of 
sword  play  that  we  could  make  them  give  way  so  that  our 
ranks  could  be  reformed.  One  thing  only  saved  our  lives, 
and  that  was  that  the  enemy  were  so  numerous  and  so 
crowded  one  on  another  that  the  shots  wrought  havoc 
among  them,  and  in  addition  to  this  they  were  not  well 
commanded,  for  all  the  captains  with  their  forces  could 
not  come  into  action,  and  from  what  we  knew,  since  the 


last  battle  had  been  fought,  there  had  been  disputes  and 
quarrels  between  the  Captain  Xicotenga  and  another  cap- 
tain the  son  of  Chichimecatecle,  over  what  the  one  had  said 
to  the  other,  that  he  had  not  fought  well  in  the  previous 
battle ;  to  this  the  son  of  Chichimecatecle  replied  that  he 
had  fought  better  [than  Xicotenga]  and  was  ready  to  prove 
it  by  personal  combat.  So  m  this  battle  Chichimecatecle 
and  his  men  would  not  help  Xicotenga,  and  we  knew  for  a 
certainty ' that  he  had  also  called  on  the  company  of 
Huexotzinco  to  abstain  from  fighting.  Besides  this,  ever 
since  the  last  battle  they  were  afraid  of  the  horses  and  the 
musketry,  and  the  swords  and  crossbows,  and  our  hard 
fighting ;  above  all  was  the  mercy  of  God  which  gave  us 
strength  to  endure.  So  Xicotenga  was  not  obeyed  by  two 
of  the  commanders,  and  we  were  doing  great  damage  to  his 
men,  for  we  were  killing  many  of  them,  and  this  they  tried 
to  conceal ;  for  as  they  were  so  numerous,  whenever  one 
of  their  men  was  wounded,  they  immediately  bound  him  up 
and  carried  him  off  on  their  shoulders,  so  that  in  this  battle, 
as  in  the  last,  we  never  saw  a  dead  man. 

The  enemy  were  already  losing  heart,  and  knowing  that 
the  followers  of  the  other  two  captains  whom  I  have 
already  named,  would  not  come  to  their  assistance,  they 
began  to  give  way.  It  seems  that  in  that  battle  we  had 
killed  one  very  important  captain,  not  to  mention  others, 
and  the  enemy  began  to  retreat  in  good  order,  our  horse- 
men following  them  at  a  hand  gallop  for  a  short  distance, 
for  they  could  not  sit  their  horses  for  fatigue,  and  when  we 
found  ourselves  free  from  that  multitude  of  warriors,  we 
gave  thanks  to  God. 

In  this  engagement,  one  soldier  was  killed,  and  sixty 
were  wounded,  and  all  the  horses  were  wounded  as  well. 
They  gave  me  two  wounds,  one  in  the  head  with  a  stone, 
and  one  in  the  thigh  with  an  arrow  ;  but  this  did  not  pre- 
vent me  from  fighting,  and  keeping  watch,  and  helping  our 


soldiers,  and  all  the  soldiers  who  were  wounded  did  the 
same  ;  for  if  the  wounds  were  not  very  dangerous,  we  had 
to  fight  and  keep  guard,  wounded  as  we  were,  for  few 
of  us  remained  unwounded. 

Then  we  returned  to  our  camp,  well  contented,  and 
giving  thanks  to  God.  We  buried  the  dead  in  one  of  those 
houses  which  the  Indians  had  built  underground,  so  that 
the  enemy  should  not  see  that  we  were  mortals,  but  should 
believe  that,  as  they  said,  we  were  Teules.  We  threw  much 
earth  over  the  top  of  the  house,  so  that  they  should  not 
smell  the  bodies,  then  we  doctored  all  the  wounded  with 
the  fat  of  the  Indian,  as  I  have  related  before.  It  was  cold 
comfort  to  be  even  without  salt  or  oil  with  which  to  cure 
the  wounded.  There  was  another  want  from  which  we 
suffered,  and  it  was  a  severe  one — and  that  was  clothes  with 
which  to  cover  ourselves,  for  such  a  cold  wind  came  from 
the  snow  mountains,  that  it  made  us  shiver,  for  our  lances 
and  muskets  and  crossbows  made  a  poor  covering.  That 
night  we  slept  with  more  tranquillity  than  on  the  night 
before,  when  we  had  so  much  duty  to  do,  with  scouting, 
spies,  watchmen  and  patrols. 

I  will  leave  off  here  and  relate  what  we  did  on  the  next 
day.     In  this  battle  we  captured  three  Indian  chieftains. 


How  next  day  we  sent  messeng^ers  to  the  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala,  begging 
them  to  make  peace,  and  what  they  did  about  it 

After  the  battle  which  I  have  described  was  over,  in 
which  we  had  captured  three  Indian  chieftains,  our  Captain 
Cortes  sent  them  at  once  in  company  with  the  two  others 
who  were  in  our  camp  and  who  had  already  been  sent  as 
messengers,  and  ordered  them  to  go  to  the  Caciques  of 
Tlaxcala  and  tell  them  that  we  begged  them  to  make  peace 


and  to  grant  us  a  passage  through  their  country  on  our 
way  to  Mexico,  as  we  had  already  sent  to  request  them, 
and  to  say  that  if  they  did  not  now  come  to  terms,  we 
would  slay  all  their  people,  but  that  as  we  were  well 
disposed  towards  them  and  wished  to  treat  them  as 
brothers,  we  had  no  desire  to  annoy  them,  unless  they 
gave  us  reason  to  do  so;  and  he  said  many  flattering 
things  to  them  so  as  to  make  friends  of  them,  and  the 
messengers  then  set  out  eagerly  for  the  capital  of  Tlaxcala 
and  gave  their  message  to  all  the  Caciques  already  men- 
tioned by  me,  whom  they  found  gathered  in  council  with 
many  other  elders  and  priests.  They  were  very  sorrowful 
both  over  the  want  of  success  in  the  war  and  at  the 
death  of  those  captains,  their  sons  and  relations,  who  had 
fallen  in  battle.  As  they  were  not  very  willing  to  listen  to 
the  message,  they  decided  to  summon  all  the  soothsayers, 
priests,  and  those  others  called  Tacal  naguas  (who  are 
like  wizards  and  foretell  fortunes),  and  they  told  them  to 
find  out  from  their  witchcraft,  charms,  and  lots  what  people 
we  were,  and  if  by  giving  us  battle  day  and  night  without 
ceasing  we  could  be  conquered,  and  to  say  if  we  were 
Teules,  (which,  as  I  have  already  said  many  times,  are  evil 
beings,  like  devils,)  as  the  people  of  Cempoala  asserted, 
and  to  tell  them  what  things  we  ate,  and  ordered  them  to 
look  into  all  these  matters  with  the  greatest  care. 

When  the  soothsayers  and  wizards  and  many  priests 
had  got  together  and  made  their  prophecies  and  forecasts, 
and  performed  all  the  other  rites  according  to  their  use, 
it  seems  that  they  said  that  by  their  divinations  they 
had  found  out  we  were  men  of  flesh  and  blood  and  ate 
poultry  and  dogs  and  bread  and  fruit  when  wc  had 
them,  and  that  we  did  not  eat  the  flesh  nor  the  hearts  of 
the  Indians  whom  we  killed.  It  seems  that  our  Indian 
friends  whom  we  had  brought  from  Cempoala  had  made 
them  believe  that  we  were  Teules,  and  that  we  ate  the 


hearts  of  Indians,  and  that  the  cannon  shot  forth  lightningr, 
such  as  falls  fronn  heaven,  and  that  the  Lurcher,  which  was 
a  sort  of  lion  or  tiger,  and  the  horses,  were  used  to  catch 
Indians  when  we  wanted  to  kill  them,  and  much  more 
nonsense  of  the  same  sort. 

The  worst  of  all  that  the  priests  and  wizards  told  the 
Caciques  was,  that  it  was  not  during  the  day,  but  only  at 
night  that  we  could  be  defeated,  for  as  night  fell,  all  our 
strength  left  us.     Furthermore,  their  wizards  told   them 
that  by  day  we  were  very  valiant,  and  all  this  strength 
lasted  throughout  the  day  up  to  sunset,  but  that  as  soon  as 
night  came  on  we  had  no  strength  whatever.     When  the 
Caciques  heard  this,  and  they  were  quite  convinced  of  it, 
they  sent  to  tell  their  captain  general  Xicotenga  that  as 
soon  as  it  was  possible  he  should  come  and  attack  us  in 
great  force  by  night.     On  receiving  this  order  Xicotenga 
assembled  ten  thousand  of  the  bravest  of  his  Indians  and 
came  to  our  camp,  and  from  three  sides  they  began  alter- 
nately to  shoot  arrows  and  throw  single  pointed  javelins 
from  their  spear  throwers,  and  from  the  fourth  side  the 
swordsmen  and   those  armed   with  macanas   and   broad- 
swords approached  so  suddenly,  that  they  felt  sure  that 
they  would  carry  some  of  us  off  to  be  sacrificed.   Our  Lord 
God  provided  otherwise,  for  secretly  as  they  approached, 
they  found  us  well  on  the  alert,  and  as  soon  as  our  outposts 
and  spies  perceived  the  great  noise  of  their  movement, 
they  ran  at  breakneck  speed  to  give  the  alarm,  and  as  we 
were  all  accustomed  to  sleep  ready  shod,  with  our  arms  on 
us  and  our  horses  bitted  and  saddled,  and  with  all  our  arms 
ready  for  use,  we  defended  ourselves  with  guns,  crossbows 
and  sword  play  so  that  they  soon  turned  their  backs.     As 
the  ground  was  level  and  there  was  a  moon  the  horsemen 
followed  them  a  little  way,  and  in  the  morning  we  found 
lying  on  the  plain  about  twenty  of  them  dead  and  wounded.  . 
So  they  went  back  with  great  loss  and  sorely  repenting 


this  night  expedition,  and  I  have  heard  it  said,  that  as  what 
the  priests  and  wizards  had  advised  did  not  turn  out  well 
they  sacrificed  two  of  them. 

That  night,  one  of  our  Indian  friends  from  Cempoala 
was  killed  and  two  of  our  soldiers  were  wounded  and  one 
horse,  and  we  captured  four  of  the  enemy.  When  we 
found  that  we  had  escaped  from  that  impetuous  attack  we 
gave  thanks  to  God,  and  we  buried  our  Cempoala  friend 
and  tended  the  wounded  and  the  horse,  and  slept  the  rest 
of  the  night  after  taking  every  precaution  to  protect  the 
camp  as  was  our  custom. 

When  we  awoke  and  saw  how  all  of  us  were  wounded, 
even  with  two  or  three  wounds,  and  how  weary  we  were 
and  how  others  were  sick  and  clothed  in  rags,  and  knew 
that  Xicotenga  was  always  after  us,  and  already  over  forty- 
five  of  our  soldiers  had  been  killed  in  battle,  or  succumbed 
to  disease  and  chills,  and  another  dozen  of  them  were  ill, 
and  our  Captain  Cortes  himself  was  suffering  from  fever  as 
well  as  the  Padre  de  la  Merced,  and  what  with  our  labours 
and  the  weight  of  our  arms  which  we  always  carried  on 
our  backs,  and  other  hardships  from  chills  and  the  want  of 
salt,  for  we  could  never  find  any  to  eat,  we  began  to  wonder 
what  would  be  the  outcome  of  all  this  fighting,  and  what 
we  should  do  and  where  we  should  go  when  it  was 
finished.  To  march  into  Mexico  we  thought  too  arduous 
an  undertaking  because  of  its  great  armies,  and  we  said  to 
one  another  that  if  those  Tlaxcalans,  which  our  Cempoalan 
friends  had  led  us  to  believe  were  peacefully  disposed,  could 
reduce  us  to  these  straits,  what  would  happen  when  we 
found  ourselves  at  war  with  the  great  forces  of  Montezuma? 
In  addition  to  this  we  had  heard  nothing  from  the  Spaniards 
whom  we  had  left  settled  in  Villa  Rica,  nor  they  of  us. 
As  there  were  among  us  very  excellent  gentlemen  and 
soldiers,  steady  and  valiant  men  of  good  counsel,  Cortes 
never  said  or  did  anything  [important]  without  first  asking 

K  2 


well  considered  advice,  and  acting  in  concert  with  us. 
Although  the  historian  Gomara  says  Cortes  did  this  and 
that,  and  came  here  and  went  there,  and  says  many  other 
things  without  reason,  even  if  Cortes  were  made  of  iron, 
as  Gomara  in  his  history  says  he  was,  he  could  not  be 
everywhere  at  once.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  he  bore  himself 
like  a  good  commander.  This  I  say,  for  after  all  the  great 
mercies  which  our  Lord  granted  us  in  all  our  doings,  and 
in  the  late  victories,  and  in  everything  else,  it  seems  that 
God  gave  us  soldiers  grace  and  good  counsel  to  advise 
Cortes  how  to  do  all  things  in  the  right  way. 

Let  us  cease  praising  and  cease  speaking  of  past  praises, 
for  they  do  not  add  much  to  our  history,  and  let  me  relate 
how  one  and  all  we  put  heart  into  Cortes,  and  told  him  that 
he  must  get  well  again  and  reckon  upon  us,  and  that 
as  with  the  help  of  God  we  had  escaped  from  such  perilous 
battles,  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  must  have  preserved  us  for 
some  good  end  ;  that  he  [Cortes]  should  at  once  set  our 
prisoners  free  and  send  them  to  the  head  Caciques  already 
named  by  me,  so  as  to  bring  them  to  peace,  when  all  that 
had  taken  place  would  be  pardoned,  including  the  death  of 
the  mare. 

Let  us  leave  this  and  say  how  Dofia  Marina  who,  although 
a  native  woman,  possessed  such  manly  valour  that,  although 
she  had  heard  every  day  how  the  Indians  were  going  to  kill 
us  and  eat  our  flesh  with  chili,  and  had  seen  us  surrounded 
in  the  late  battles,  and  knew  that  all  of  us  were  wounded 
and  sick,  yet  never  allowed  us  to  see  any  sign  of  fear  in  her, 
only  a  courage  passing  that  of  woman.  So  Dona  Marina 
and  Jerónimo  de  Aguilar  spoke  to  the  messengers  whom 
we  were  now  sending  and  told  them  that  they  must  come 
and  make  peace  at  once,  and  that  if  it  was  not  concluded 
within  two  days  we  should  go  and  kill  them  all  and 
destroy  their  country  and  would  come  to  seek  them  in 
their  city,  and  with  these  brave  words  they  were  dispatched 


to  the  capital  where  Xicotenga  the  elder  and  Mase  Escasi 
were  [residing]. 

Let  us  leave  this,  and  I  will  mention  another  thing  that 
I  have  noticed,  that  the  historian  Gomara  does  not  mention 
or  make  any  record  in  his  history  of  the  fact  that  any  of  us 
were  killed  or  wounded,  or  underwent  any  hardships,  or 
suffered,  but  writes  about  it  all  as  though  we  were  going  to 
a  wedding,  and  it  is  thus  that  we  find  it  recorded.  Oh ! — 
how  badly  those  men  advised  him  when  they  told  him  to  put 
such  things  in  his  history !  It  has  made  all  of  us  con- 
querors reflect  upon  what  he  wrote  down,  which  not  being 
true,  he  ought  to  have  remembered,  that  as  soon  as  we 
saw  his  history  we  must  out  with  the  truth  ! 

Let  us  forget  Gomara  and  say  that  our  messengers  went 
to  the  capital  of  Tlaxcala  with  our  message,  and  I  think 
that  they  carried  a  letter,  for  although  we  knew  they 
could  not  understand  it,  yet  they  would  look  on  it  as 
an  order,  and  with  it  was  sent  an  arrow,  and  they  found 
the  two  chief  Caciques  who  were  in  conference  with  the. 
other  chieftains,  and  what  they  answered  I  will  go  on 
to  relate. 


How  we  again  sent  messengers  to  the  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala  to  bring 
them  to  peace,  and  what  they  did  about  it  and  decided. 

When  the  messengers  whom  we  had  sent  to  treat  for 
peace  arrived  at  Tlaxcala,  they  found  the  two  principal 
Caciques  in  consultation,  namely :  Mase  Escasi  and  Xico- 
tenga, the  elder  (the  father  of  the  Captain  General 
Xicotenga,  so  often  mentioned  by  me,  who  bore  the  same 
name).  When  they  had  heard  the  embassy,  they  were 
undecided  and  kept  silence  for  a  few  moments,  and  it 
pleased  God  to  guide  their  thoughts  towards  making  peace 


with  US ;  and  they  sent  at  once  to  summon  all  the  other 
Caciques  and  captains  who  were  in  their  towns,  and  those 
of  a  neighbouring  province  called  Huexotzingo  who  were 
their  friends  and  allies,  and  when  all  had  come  together 
to  the  town  where  they  were,  which  was  their  capital,  Mase 
Escasi  and  Xicotenga  the  elder,  who  were  very  wise  men, 
made  them  a  speech,  as  we  afterwards  learned,  to  the 
following  effect,  if  not  exactly  in  these  words  : 

"  Brothers  and  friends,  you  have  already  seen  how  many 
times  these  Teules  who  are  in  this  country  expecting  to  be 
attacked,  have  sent  us  messengers  asking  us  to  make  peace, 
saying  that  they  come  to  assist  us  and  adopt  us  as 
brothers ;  and  you  have  also  seen  how  many  times  they 
have  taken  prisoners  numbers  of  our  vassals  to  whom  they 
do  no  harm,  and  whom  they  quickly  set  free.  You  well 
know  how  we  have  three  times  attacked  them  with  all  our 
forces,  both  by  day  and  by  night,  and  have  failed  to 
conquer  them,  and  that  they  have  killed  during  the  attacks 
we  made  on  them,  many  of  our  people,  and  of  our  sons, 
relations  and  captains.  Now,  again,  they  have  sent  to  ask 
us  to  make  peace  and  the  people  of  Cempoala  whom  they 
are  bringing  in  their  company  say  that  they  are  the 
enemies  of  Montezuma  and  his  Mexicans,  and  have  ordered 
the  towns  of  the  Totonac  sierra  and  those  of  Cempoala 
no  longer  to  pay  tribute  to  Montezuma.  You  will  remember 
well  enough  that  the  Mexicans  make  war  on  us  every  year, 
and  have  done  so  for  more  than  a  hundred  years,  and  you 
can  readily  see  that  we  are  hemmed  in  in  our  own  lands,  so 
that  we  do  not  dare  to  go  outside  even  to  seek  for  salt, 
so  that  we  have  none  to  eat,  and  we  have  no  cotton,  and 
bring  in  very  little  cotton  cloth,  and  if  some  of  our  people 
go  out  or  have  gone  out  to  seek  for  it,  few  of  them  return 
alive,  for  those  traitorous  Mexicans  and  their  allies  kill 
them  or  make  slaves  of  them.     Our  wizards^  and  sooth- 

^  Tacal  naguas. 

XICOTENGA  tttE  VOUNGER  kEFkACTORV.         247 

sayers  and  priests  have  told  us  what  they  think  about  the 
persons  of  these  Teules,  and  that  they  are  very  valiant.  It 
seems  to  me  that  we  should  seek  to  be  friends  with  them, 
and  in  either  case,  whether  they  be  men  or  Teules,  that  we 
should  make  them  welcome,  and  that  four  of  our  chieftains 
should  set  out  at  once  and  take  them  plenty  to  eat,  and 
should  offer  them  friendship  and  peace,  so  that  they  should 
assist  us'  and  defend  us  against  our  enemies,  and  let  us 
bring  them  here  to  us,  and  give  them  women,  so  that 
we  may  have  relationship  with  their  offspring,  for  the 
ambassadors  whom  they  have  sent  to  treat  for  peace,  tell 
us  that  they  have  some  women  with  them." 

When  they  had  listened  to  this  discourse,  all  the  Caciques 
and  chiefs  approved  of  it  and  said  that  it  was  a  wise 
decision  and  that  peace  should  be  made  at  once,  and  that 
notice  should  be  sent  to  the  Captain  Xicotenga  and  the 
other  captains  who  were  with  him  to  return  at  once  and 
not  to  attack  again,  and  that  they  should  be  told  that 
peace  was  already  made,  and  messengers  were  immediately 
sent  off  to  announce  it.  However,  the  Captain  Xicotenga 
the  younger  would  not  listen  to  the  four  chiefs,  and  got 
very  angry  and  used  abusive  language  against  them,  and 
said  he  was  not  for  peace,  for  he  had  already  killed  many 
of  the  Teules  and  a  mare,  and  that  he  wished  to  attack  us 
again  by  night  and  completely  conquer  us  and  slay  us. 

When  his  father,  Xicotenga  the  elder,  and  Mase  Escasi 
and  the  other  Caciques  heard  this  reply  they  were  very 
angry,  and  sent  orders  at  once  to  the  captains  and  to  all 
the  army  that  they  should  not  join  Xicotenga  in  attacking 
us  again,  and  should  not  obey  him  in  anything  that  he 
ordered  unless  it  was  in  making  peace.  And  even  so  he 
would  not  obey,  and  when  they  [the  Caciques]  saw  the 
disobedience  of  their  captain,  they  at  once  sent  the  same 
four  chieftains  whom  they  had  sent  before,  to  bring  food 
to  our  camp  and   treat   for  peace   in   the   name  of  all 

24^  feXPEbÍTION    to 

Tlaxcala  and  Huexotzingo,  but,  from  fear  of  Xicotenga  the 
younger,  the  four  old  men  did  not  come  at  that  time,  and 
as  two  or  three  things  happened  at  the  same  moment,  both 
in  our  camp  and  in  the  treating  for  peace,  and  as  I  must 
take  in  hand  that  which  seems  most  convenient,  I  will 
cease  speaking  about  the  four  Indian  chieftains  who  were 
sent  to  treat  for  peace  but  did  not  dare  to  come  for  fear  of 
Xicotenga,  for  at  this  time  we  went  with  Cortes  to  a  town 
near  our  camp,  and  what  happened  I  will  tell  in  the  next 


How  we  agreed  to  go  to  a  town  which  was  near  to  our  camp, 
and  what  we  did  about  it. 

As  two  days  had  passed  without  our  doing  anything 
worthy  of  record,  we  suggested  to  Cortes,  and  it  was 
agreed  to,  that  as  there  was  a  town  about  one  league 
distant  from  our  camp  which  had  sent  no  reply  when 
summoned  to  make  peace,  that  we  should  march  against 
it  by  night  and  take  it  by  surprise,  nt)t  with  intent  to  do 
it  any  harm,  I  mean  not  to  kill  or  wound  its  inhabitants, 
or  take  them  prisoners,  but  to  carry  off  food  and  to  frighten 
or  talk  them  into  making  peace,  according  to  the  way 
they  might  act. 

This  town  was  called  Tzumpantzingo,^  and  was  the  capital 
of  many  other  small  towns,  and  the  township  where  our 
camp  was  placed,  which  was  called  Tecoad^unpan^ingo, 
was  subject  to  it,  and  all  round  about  it  was  thickly 

So  one  night,  long  before  the  approach  of  dawn,  we  rose 
early  to  go  to  that  town  with  six  of  the  best  horsemen  and 

^  (y!unpanzingo  in  the  original. 

tZUMPAtíTZlKGO  249 

the  healthiest  of  the  soldiers  and  ten  crossbowmen  and  eight 
musketeers,  with  Cortes  as  our  captain,  although  he  was 
suffering  from  tertian  fever,  and  we  icft  the  camp  as  well 
guarded  as  was  possible.  We  started  on  our  march  two 
hours  before  dawn  came,  and  there  was  such  a  cold  wind 
that  morning  blowing  down  from  the  snowy  mountains 
that  it  made  us  shiver  and  shake,  and  the  horses  we  had 
with  us  felt  it  keenly,  for  two  of  them  were  seized  with 
colic  and  were  trembling  all  over,  which  worried  us  a  good 
deal  as  we  feared  that  they  would  die.  Cortes  ordered 
their  owners  to  take  them  back  to  the  camp  and  try  to 
cure  them. 

As  the  town  was  not  far  off  we  arrived  there  before  day- 
light, and  when  the  natives  perceived  our  approach,  they 
fled  from  their  houses  shouting  to  one  another  to  look  out 
for  the  Teules  who  were  coming  to  kill  them,  and  the 
parents,  in  their  panic,  did  not  even  wait  to  look  after  their 
children.  When  we  saw  what  was  happening,  we  halted- 
in  a  court  until  it  was  daylight,  so  as  not  to  do  the  people 
any  harm.  As  soon  as  the  priests  who  were  in  the  temples, 
the  elders  of  the  town  and  some  of  the  old  chieftains  saw 
that  we  stood  there  without  doing  any  harm,  they  came  to 
Cortes  and  asked  his  pardon  for  not  coming  to  our  camp 
peacefully  and  bringing  food  when  we  had  summoned 
them  to  do  so,  the  reason  being  that  the  captain  Xico- 
tenga,  who  was  in  the  neighbourhood,  had  sent  to  them 
to  say  that  they  should  not  give  us  any,  because  his 
camp  was  supplied  from  that  town  and  from  many  others, 
and  he  had  with  him  as  warriors  the  sons  of  the  people  of 
that  town  and  from  all  the  territory  of  Tlaxcala.  Cortes 
told  them  through  our  interpreters,  Dofia  Marina  and 
Aguilar,  who  always  went  with  us  on  every  expedition — 
even  when  it  took  place  at  night — to  have  no  fear,  but  to 
go  at  once  to  the  Caciques  at  the  capital  and  tell  them  to 
come  and  make  peace,  for  the  war  was  disastrous  to  them, 


and  he  [Cortes]  sent  those  [same]  priests  [as  messengers], 
for,  by  the  other  messengers  whom  we  had  sent  we  had  so 
far  received  no  reply  whatever.  Concerning  the  circum- 
stance I  have  mentioned  of  the  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala 
sending  four  chieftains  to  treat  for  peace,  up  to  that  time 
these  had  not  arrived. 

These  priests  of  the  town  quickly  searched  for  more  than 
forty  cocks  and  hens  and  two  women  to  grind  tortillas,  and 
brought  them  to  us,  and  Cortes  thanked  them  for  it,  and 
ordered  them  at  once  to  send  twenty  Indians  to  our  camp, 
and  they  came  with  the  food  without  any  fear  whatever 
and  stayed  in  the  camp  until  the  afternoon,  and  they  were 
given  little  beads  with  which  they  returned  well  contented 
to  their  homes,  and  in  all  the  small  hamlets  in  our  neigh- 
bourhood they  spread  word  that  we  were  good  because  we 
caused  them  no  annoyance,  and  the  priests  and  elders  sent 
notice  to  the  captain  Xicotenga  and  told  him  how  they  had 
given  us  the  food  and  the  women,  and  he  rated  them 
severely,  and  they  went  at  once  to  the  capital  to  make 
it  known  to  the  o[d  Caciques.  As  soon  as  they  heard 
that  we  had  not  done  the  people  any  harm,  although  we 
might  have  killed  many  of  them  that  night,  and  that  we 
were  sending  them  to  treat  for  peace,  they  were  greatly 
pleased,  and  ordered  that  we  should  be  supplied  every  day 
with  all  that  we  needed  ;  and  they  again  ordered  the  four 
Caciques,  whom  they  had  before  charged  with  the  mission 
of  peace,  to  depart  instantly  for  our  camp,  and  carry  with 
them  all  the  food  that  had  been  prepared.  We  then 
returned  to  our  camp  with  our  supplies  of  food  and  the 
Indian  women,  all  of  us  well  contented. 

I  must  leave  oflf  here  and  relate  what  passed  in  the  camp 
while  we  were  gone  away  to  that  town. 

blSSÉKSÍÓN   tN   THE  CAMP.  25 1 


How  when  we  returned  with  Cortes  from  Tzumpantzingo*  with 
supplies,  we  found  certain  discussions  being  carried  on  in  our 
camp,  and  what  Cortes  replied  to  them. 

When  we  returned  from  Tzumpantzingo,*  as  the  town  is 
called,  with  our  supplies  of  food,  very  contented  at  leaving 
the  place  pacified,  we  found  that  in  camp  there  had  been 
meetings  and  discussions  about  the  very  great  danger  we 
were  running  day  by  day  during  this  war,  and  on  our  arrival 
the  discussion  grew  most  lively.  Those  who  talked  most 
and  were  most  persistent,  were  those  who  had  left  houses 
and  assignments  of  Indians  behind  them  in  Cuba,  and  as 
many  as  seven  of  these  men  (whose  names  I  will  not 
mention  so  as  to  save  their  honour)  met  together  and  went 
to  the  hut  where  Cortes  was  lodging,  and  one  of  them  who 
spoke  for  all,  for  he  was  very  fluent  of  speech  and  knew 
very  well  what  they  had  come  to  propose,  said,  as  though 
he  were  giving  advice  to  Cortes,  that  he  should  take  heed 
of  the  condition  we  were  in,  wounded  and  thin  and  half- 
hearted, and  the  great  hardships  that  we  endured  by 
night  as  sentinels  and  spies,  or  patrols  and  scouts,  and 
both  by  day  and  night  in  fighting.  According  to  the 
accounts  he  had  made  up,  since  leaving  Cuba  we  had  lost 
over  fifty-five  of  our  comrades,  and  knew  nothing  about 
those  whom  we  had  left  as  settlers  at  Villa  Rica ;  and 
although  God  had  given  us  victory  in  the  battles  and 
skirmishes  since  we  came  from  Cuba  to  this  province  and 
by  His  great  pity  had  sustained  us,  we  ought  not  to  tempt 
Him  so  many  times,  and  might  it  not  turn  out  worse  than 
Pedro  Carbonero* ;   that  he  [Cortes]  had  got  us  into  an 

'  Cinpanqingo  in  the  original.         ^  (^unpanzingo  in  the  original. 

'  Spoken  proverbially  of  Pedro  Carbonero,  w^ho  penetrated  into  the 
land  of  the  Moors,  but  failed  to  return,  and  perished  there  with  all  his 




unexpected  situation,  and  that  some  day  or  other  we 
should  be  sacrificed  to  the  idols,  which  please  God  would 
not  happen  ;  but  that  it  would  be  a  good  thing  to  return 
to  our  town  and  the  fortress  which  we  had  built,  and 
stay  among  the  towns  of  our  friends  the  Totonacs  until 
we  could  build  a  ship  which  should  be  dispatched  to  Diego 
Velasquez  and  to  other  parts  and  islands  to  ask  them  to 
send  us  help  and  assistance ;  and  that  now  the  ships 
which  we  sunk  would  have  been  useful  to  us,  and  we 
might  have  left  at  least  two  of  them  in  case  of  necessity 
arising,  but  without  consulting  them  about  this,  or  about 
anything  else,  by  the  advice  of  those  who  did  not  know 
how  to  provide  for  changes  of  fortune,  he  [Cortes]  had 
ordered  them  all  to  be  sunk,  and  please  God  that  he  and 
those  who  had  given  him  such  advice  would  not  repent 
of  it ;  that  we  were  no  longer  able  to  support  the  burden 
much  less  the  many  overburdens  [which  we  were  carrying] 
and  that  we  were  going  along  worse  than  beasts  of  burden  ; 
for  when  a  beast  has  done  its  day's  work  its  packsaddle 
is  taken  off  and  it  is  given  food  and  rest ;  but  we  went 
booted  and  loaded  down  with  our  arms  both  by  day  and 
night ;  and  they  told  Cortes  besides  that  he  could  see  in 
any  history  that  neither  the  Romans  nor  Alexander,  nor 
any  other  of  the  most  famous  captains  whom  the  world 
had  known,  had  dared  to  destroy  their  ships  and  with  such 
a  small  force  throw  themselves  against  such  a  great  popu- 
lation with  so  many  warriors  as  he  had  done,  and  that  it 
wt>uld  be  the  cause  of  his  own  death  and  that  of  all  his 
.  followers ;  that  he  should  wish  to  preserve  his  life  and  the 
lives  of  us  all,  and  that  we  should  at  once  return  to  Villa 
Rica  as  the  country  there  was  at  peace  ;  that  they  had  not 
said  all  this  before,  as  there  had  been  no  time  to  do  so  on 
account  of  the  many  warriors  who  were  opposed  to  us 
every  day,  both  in  front  and  on  our  flanks ;  and  although 
they  had  not  returned  to  the  attack  they  believed  that  they 


would  do  SO,  and  since  Xicotenga  with  his  great  power  had 
not  been  to  look  for  us  during  the  last  three  days,  that  he 
must  be  collecting  his  forces  and  we  ought  not  to  await 
another  battle  like  the  last ;  and  they  said  more  to  the 
same  effect. 

Cortes  noticing  that  they  spoke  somewhat  haughtily, 
considering  that  their  words  took  the  form  of  unasked 
advice,  answered  them  very  gently  and  said  that  he  was 
aware  of  many  of  the  things  that  they  had  mentioned,  and 
that  from  what  he  had  seen  and  believed,  there  was  not  in 
the  whole  world  another  [company  of]  Spaniards  who  were 
hardier,  or  who  had  fought  with  greater  courage,  or  had 
endured  such  excessive  hardships  as  we  had,  and  that  if  we 
had  not  marched  with  arms  continually  on  our  backs,  and 
kept  watch,  and  gone  on  patrol,  and  suffered  cold,  and  if  we 
had  not  done  all  this  we  should  already  have  perished,  and 
that  it  was  to  save  our  lives  that  we  had  to  endure  those 
hardships  and  even  greater  ones,  and  he  said  :  "  Why,  sirs, 
should  we  talk  about  deeds  of  valour  when  in  truth  our 
Lord  is  pleased  to  help  us  ?  When  I  remember  seeing  us 
surrounded  by  so  many  companies  of  the  enemy  and 
watching  the  play  of  their  broadswords  so  close  to  us, 
it  even  now  terrifies  me,  especially  when  they  killed  the 
mare  with  a  single  sword  cut ;  we  indeed  seemed  to  be 
defeated  and  lost,  and  then  I  appreciated  your  great 
courage  more  than  ever.  As  God  then  freed  us  from  such 
great  danger,  so  I  have  trust  in  Him  that  He  will  do  the 
same  in  the  future  ;  and  I  will  say  more — that  in  all  such 
dangers  you  will  find  no  slackness  on  my  part  when  I 
share  them  with  you."  He  had  good  reason  to  say  so  for  in 
all  the  battles  he  was  to  be  found  in  the  front.  **  I  wish  you, 
sirs,  to  bear  in  mind,  that  as  our  Lord  has  been  pleased  to 
help  us,  we  have  hope  that  so  it  may  be  in  the  future, 
for  ever  since  we  have  penetrated  into  this  country,  in 
all  the  towns  we  have  passed  through,  we  have  preached 


the  holy  doctrine  as  well  as  we  were  able,  and  have 
induced  the  Indians  to  destroy  their  idols.  As  we  already 
see  that  neither  Xicotenga  nor  his  captains  put  in  an 
appearance  and  that  they  are  afraid  to  return,  for  we  must 
have  done  them  great  damage  in  the  late  battles,  and  that 
they  are  not  able  to  assemble  their  followers,  as  they  have 
already  been  defeated  three  times";  for  these  reasons  he 
had  confidence  in  God  and  his  advocate,  San  Pedro,  who 
prays  for  us,  that  the  war  in  this  province  is  ended.  "  Now, 
as  you  have  seen,  the  people  of  Cinpancingo  are  bringing 
food  and  have  made  peace  and  so  have  our  neighbours 
here  who  have  returned  to  live  in  their  houses."  As  for 
the  destruction  of  the  ships,  it  was  very  well  advised,  and 
that  if  some  of  them  were  not  consulted  in  the  matter,  as  the 
other  gentlemen  were,  it  was  because  he  [Cortes]  resented 
what  happened  on  the  beach,  which  he  did  not  now  wish  to 
call  to  mind  ;  that  the  opinion  and  advice  which  they  now 
gave  him  was  on  a  par  with  that  which  they  gave  on  that 
occasion ;  that  they  could  see  that  there  were  many  other 
gentlemen  in  the  camp  who  strongly  opposed  what  they 
were  now  asking  and  advising,  and  that  it  would  be  better 
to  trust  all  matters  to  God  and  to  follow  them  up  in  His 
holy  service.  "  As  to  what  you  say,  sirs,  that  the  most 
renowned  Roman  captains  have  never  done  such  great 
deeds  as  we  have — ^you  tell  the  truth.  And  from  now 
onwards,  God  helping  us,  they  will  say  in  the  histories  that 
record  these  events  far  more  than  they  may  have  said 
about  those  that  happened  before ;  so,  as  I  have  already 
said,  all  our  labours  are  devoted  to  the  service  of  God  and 
our  great  Emperor  Don  Carlos,  and  under  his  true  justice 
and  Christianity  will  be  aided  by  the  mercy  of  our  Lord, 
and  He  will  support  us  as  we  go  from  good  to  better.  So, 
gentlemen,  it  is  clearly  no  good  to  go  back  a  single  step, 
for  if  these  people  and  those  whom  we  leave  behind  in  peace 
were  to  see  us  in  retreat,  the  very  stones  would  rise  up 


against  us.  As  at  the  present  time  they  take  us  for 
gods  and  idols,  and  so  call  us,  they  would  then  look  on  us 
as  cowards  and  weaklings." 

"  As  for  what  you  say  about  staying  among  the  friendly 
Totonacs,  our  allies,  if  they  should  see  us  return  without 
going  to  Mexico,  they  would  rise  against  us,  and  the  reason 
for  this  would  be  that,  as  we  stopped  them  from  paying 
tribute  to  Montezuma,  he  would  send  his  Mexican  forces 
against  them  to  bring  them  again  under  tribute  and  make 
war  on  them  and  would  order  them  to  make  war  on  us,  and 
they,  so  as  to  escape  destruction,  for  they  greatly  fear  the 
Mexicans,  would  soon  set  to  work  ;  so  that  where  we 
expected  to  have  friends  we  would  find  enemies.  Then  as 
soon  as  the  great  Montezuma  learned  that  we  had  retreated, 
what  would  he  say  ?  What  would  he  think  of  our  words, 
and  of  what  we  sent  to  tell  him  ?  That  it  was  all  a 
joke  or  child's  play.  So,  gentlemen,  if  one  way  is  bad,  the 
other  way  is  worse,  and  it  is  better  to  stay  where  we  are, 
where  there  is  open  ground  thickly  inhabited,  and  our  camp 
is  well  supplied  with  food,  sometimes  poultry,  at  others 
dogs,  and  thank  God  there  is  no  lack  of  food.  And  I  wish 
we  had  salt —which  is  our  greatest  want  at  present,  and 
clothes  to  protect  us  from  the  cold.  As  to  what  you  say, 
sirs,  that  we  have  lost  fifty-five  soldiers,  since  we  left  the 
Island  of  Cuba,  from  wounds,  starvation,  cold,  illness  and 
hardship,  and  that  we  are  now  few  in  number  and  all  sick 
and  wounded,  God  gives  us  the  strength  of  a  host ;  it  is 
clearly  a  fact  that  wars  use  up  men  and  horses,  and  that 
sometimes  we  feed  well,  but  we  did  not  come  here  to  rest 
ourselves,  but  to  fight  when  opportunity  offered.  There- 
fore, I  pray  you,  sirs,  have  the  goodness  to  act  like 
gentlemen,  as  persons  who  are  used  to  put  courage  into 
those  you  may  see  showing  weakness,  and  from  now  on 
give  up  thinking  of  the  Island  of  Cuba  and  what  you  left 
there,  and  try  to  do  what  you  have  hitherto  always  done— 


your  duty — as  good  soldiers ;  for  after  God,  who  is  your 
aid  and  support,  we  must  rely  on  our  own  strong  arms." 

When  Cortes  had  given  this  reply,  those  soldiers  renewed 
their  argument.  They  admitted  that  all  that  Cortes  had 
told  them  had  been  well  said,  but  that  when  we  left  the 
town  where  we  had  made  a  settlement,  our  intention  was, 
and  now  still  is,  to  go  to  Mexico,  which  has  such  a  great 
reputation  on  account  of  the  strength  of  the  city  and  its 
great  number  of  warriors.  The  people  of  Cempoala  said 
that  the  Tlaxcalans  were  a  peaceful  people,  and  they  had 
no  such  reputation  as  those  of  Mexico,  yet  we  had  been  in 
great  danger  of  losing  our  lives,  and  if  they  should  attack 
us  next  day  in  another  battle  such  as  those  we  had  gone 
through,  we  were  too  exhausted  to  hold  our  own.  If  they 
did  not  attack  us  again,  still  the  journey  to  Mexico  seemed 
to  them  a  very  terrible  thing,  and  that  he  should  reconsider 
what  he  was  saying  and  commanding. 

Cortes  answered  half  angrily  that  "  It  was  better  to  die 
in  a  good  cause,  as  the  Psalms  said,  than  to  live  dis- 
honoured 1 "  And  in  addition  to  this  which  Cortes  told 
them,  the  greater  number  of  the  soldiers,  those  who  had 
elected  Cortes  captain,  and  had  given  him  counsel  about 
destroying  the  ships,  cried  out  loudly  that  he  should  not 
trouble  himself  about  gossip  or  listen  to  such  tales,  for 
with  the  help  of  God,  by  acting  well  together,  we  should 
be  ready  to  do  the  right  thing,  and  so  all  the  talk  ended. 

It  is  true  enough  that  they  grumbled  at  Cortes  and 
cursed  him,  and  even  at  us  who  had  advised  him,  and  at 
the  Cempoalans  who  had  brought  us  here,  and  said  other 
unworthy  things,  but  in  such  times  they  were  overlooked. 
Finally  all  were  fairly  obedient,  and  I  will  leave  off  talking 
about  this,  and  will  relate  how  the  aged  Caciques  again 
sent  messengers  from  the  capital  of  Tlaxcala  to  their 
captain  general  Xicotenga  to  say  that  without  fail  he 
should  immediately  visit  us  in  peace  and  bring  us  food, 


for  SO  it  was  decreed  by  all  the  caciques  and  chieftains  of 
their  land  and  of  Huexotzingo.  They  also  sent  to  order 
the  captains  who  were  in  Xicotenga's  company,  to  refuse 
him  all  obedience  if  he  did  not  go  and  make  peace.  This 
they  sent  to  say  three  times,  for  they  knew  for  certain 
that  Xicotenga  did  not  wish  to  obey  them,  but  was  de- 
termined once  again  to  attack  our  camp  by  night,  and 
for  this  purpose  had  assembled  twenty  thousand  men,  and 
being  haughty  and  very  stubborn,  that  now,  as  at  other 
times,  he  would  not  obey. 

What  he  did  in  the  matter  I  will  tell  further  on. 


How  the  Captain  Xicotenga  had  got  ready  twenty  thousand  picked 
warriors  to  attack  our  camp  and  what  was  done  about  it. 

When  Mase  Escasi  and  Xicotenga  the  elder,  and  the 
greater  number  of  the  Caciques  of  the  capital  of  Tlaxcala 
sent  four  times  to  tell  their  captain  not  to  attack  us  but  to 
go  and  treat  for  peace,  he  was  very  close  to  our  camp,  and 
they  sent  to  the  other  captains  who  were  with  him  and 
told  them  not  to  follow  him  unless  it  was  to  accompany 
him  when  he  went  to  see  us  peacefully. 

As  Xicotenga  was  bad  tempered  and  obstinate  and 
proud,  he  decided  to  send  forty  Indians  with  food,  poultry, 
bread  and  fruit  and  four  miserable  looking  old  Indian 
women,  and  much  copal  and  many  parrots'  feathers.  From 
their  appearance  we  thought  that  the  Indians  who  brought 
this  present  came  with  peaceful  intentions,  and  when  they 
reached  our  camp  they  fumigated  Cortes  with  incense 
without  doing  him  reverence,  as  was  usually  their  custom. 
They  said  :  "  The  Captain  Xicotenga  sends  you  all  this 
so  that  you  can  eat.  If  you  are  savage  Teules,  as  the 
Cempoalans  say  you  are,  and  if  you  wish  for  a  sacrifice, 



take  these  four  women  and  sacrifice  them  and  you  can  eat 
their  flesh  and  hearts,  but  as  we  do  not  know  your  manner 
of  doing  it,  we  have  not  sacrificed  them  now  before  you  ; 
but  if  you  are  men,  eat  the  poultry  and  the  bread  and 
fruit,  and  if  you  are  tame  Teules  we  have  brought  you 
copal  (which  I  have  already  said  is  a  sort  of  incense)  and 
parrots'  feathers  ;  make  your  sacrifice  with  that" 

Cortes  answered  through  our  interpreters  that  he  had 
already  sent  to  them  to  say  that  he  desired  peace  and  had 
not  come  to  make  war,  but  had  come  to  entreat  them  and 
make  clear  to  them  on  behalf  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
whom  we  believe  in  and  worship,  and  of  the  Emperor  Don 
Carlos,  whose  vassals  we  are,  that  they  should  not  kill  or 
sacrifice  anyone  as  was  their  custom  to  do.  That  we  were 
all  men  of  bone  and  flesh  just  as  they  were,  and  not  Teules 
but  Christians,  and  that  it  was  not  our  custom  to  kill  any- 
one ;  that  had  we  wished  to  kill  people,  many  opportunities 
of  perpetrating  cruelties  had  occurred  during  the  frequent 
attacks  they  had  made  on  us,  both  by  day  and  night. 
That  for  the  food  they  had  brought  he  gave  them  thanks, 
and  that  they  were  not  to  be  as  foolish  as  they  had  been, 
but  should  now  make  peace. 

It  seems  that  these  Indians  whom  Xicotenga  had  sent 
with  the  food  were  spies  sent  to  examine  our  huts  and 
ranchos,  and  horses  and  artillery  and  [to  report]  how  many 
of  us  there  were  in  each  hut,  our  comings  and  goings,  and 
everything  else  that  could  be  seen  in  the  camp.  They  re- 
mained there  that  day  and  the  following  night,  and  some  of 
them  went  with  messages  to  Xicotenga  and  others  arrived. 
Our  friends  whom  we  had  brought  with  us  from  Cempoala 
looked  on  and  bethought  them  that  it  was  not  a  customary 
thing  for  our  enemies  to  stay  in  the  camp  day  and  njght 
without  any  purpose,  and  it  was  clear  to  them  that  they 
were  spies,  and  they  were  the  more  suspicious  of  them  in 
that  when  we  went  on  the  expedition  to  the  little  town  of 


Tzumpantzingo,  two  old  men  of  that  town  had  told  the 
Cempoalans  that  Xicotenga  was  all  ready  with  a  large 
number  of  warriors  to  attack  our  camp  by  night,  in  such 
a  way  that  their  approach  would  not  be  detected,  and  the 
Cempoalans  at  that  time  took  it  for  a  joke  or  bravado,  and 
not  believing  it  they  had  said  nothing  to  Cortes ;  but  Dofia 
Marina  heard  of  it  at  once  and  she  repeated  it  to  Cortes. 

So  as  to  learn  the  truth,  Cortes  had  two  of  the  most 
honest  looking  of  the  Tlaxcalans  taken  apart  from  the 
others,  and  they  confessed  that  they  were  spies ;  then  two 
others  were  taken  and  they  also  confessed  that  they  were 
spies  from  Xicotenga  and  the  reason  why  they  had  come. 
Cortes  ordered  them  to  be  released,  and  we  took  two  more 
of  them  and  they  confessed  that  they  were  neither  more 
nor  less  than  spies,  but  added  that  their  Captain  Xicotenga 
was  awaiting  their  report  to  attack  us  that  night  with  all 
his  companies.  When  Cortes  heard  this  he  let  it  be  known 
throughout  the  camp  that  we  were  to  keep  on  the  alert, 
believing  that  they  would  attack  as  had  been  arranged. 
Then  he  had  seventeen  of  those  spies  captured  and  cut  off 
the  hands  of  some  and  the  thumbs  of  others  and  sent 
them  to  the  Captain  Xicotenga  to  tell  him  that  he  had  had 
them  thus  punished  for  daring  to  come  in  such  a  way,  and 
to  tell  him  that  he  might  come  when  he  chose  by  day  or 
by  night,  for  we  should  await  him  here  two  days,  and  that 
if  he  did  not  come  within  those  two  days  that  we  would 
go  and  look  for  him  in  his  camp,  and  that  we  would  already 
have  gone  to  attack  them  and  kill  them,  were  it  not  for 
the  liking  we  had  for  them,  and  that  now  they  should  quit 
their  foolishness  and  make  peace. 

They  say  that  it  was  at  the  very  moment  that  those 
Indians  set  out  with  their  hands  and  thumbs  cut  off,  that 
Xicotenga  wished  to  set  out  from  his  camp  with  all  his 
forces  to  attack  us  by  night  as  had  been  arranged  ;  but 
when  he  saw  his  spies  returning  in  this  manner  he  wondered 

S  2 


greatly  and  asked  the  reason  of  it,  and  they  told  him  all 
that  had  happened,  and  from  this  time  forward  he  lost  his 
courage  and  pride,  and  in  addition  to  this  one  of  his 
commanders  with  whom  he  had  wrangles  and  disagree- 
ments during  the  battles  which  had  been  fought,  had  left 
the  camp  with  all  his  men. 
Let  us  get  on  with  our  story. 


How  the  four  chieftains  who  had  been  sent  to  treat  for  peace  arrived 
in  our  camp  and  the  speech  they  made,  and  what  else  happened. 

While  we  were  in  camp  not  knowing  that  they  would 
come  in  peace,  as  we  had  so  greatly  desired,  and  were  busy 
polishing  our  arms  and  making  arrows,  each  one  of  us 
doing  what  was  necessary  to  prepare  for  battle,  at  that 
moment  one  of  our  scouts  came  hurrying  in  to  say  that 
many  Indian  men  and  women  with  loads  were  coming 
along  the  high  road  from  Tlaxcala,  and  without  leaving  the 
road  were  making  for  our  camp,  and  that  the  other  scout,  his 
companion,  who  was  on  horseback,  was  watching  to  see 
which  way  they  went ;  meanwhile  the  other  scout,  his 
companion,  who  was  on  horseback,  arrived  and  said  that 
the  people  were  close  by  and  coming  straight  in  our 
direction,  and  every  now  and  then  were  making  short 
stops.  Cortes  and  all  of  us  were  delighted  at  this  news,  for 
we  believed  that  it  meant  peace,  as  in  fact  it  did,  and 
Cortes  ordered  us  to  make  no  display  of  alarm  and  not  to 
show  any  concern,  but  to  stay  hidden  in  our  huts.  Then, 
from  out  of  all  those  people  who  came  bearing  loads,  the 
four  chieftains  advanced  who  were  charged  to  treat  for 
peace,  according  to  the  instructions  given  by  the  old 
caciques.  Making  signs  of  peace  by  bowing  the  head,  they 
came  straight  to  the  hut  where  Cortes  was  lodging  and 


placed  one  hand  on  the  ground  and  kissed  the  earth  and 
three  times  made  obeisance  and  burnt  copal,  and  said  that 
all  the  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala  and  their  allies  and  vassals, 
friends  and  confederates,  were  come  to  place  themselves 
under  the  friendship  and  peace  of  Cortes  and  of  his  brethren 
the  Teules  who  accompanied  him.  They  asked  his  pardon 
for  not  having  met  us  peacefully,  and  for  the  war  which 
they  had  waged  on  us,  for  they  had  believed  and  held  for 
certain  that  we  were  friends  of  Montezuma  and  his 
Mexicans,  who  have  been  their  mortal  enemies  from  times 
long  past,  for  they  saw  that  many  of  his  vassals  who  paid 
him  tribute  had  come  in  our  company,  and  they  believed 
that  they  were  endeavouring  to  gain  an  entry  into  their 
country  by  guile  and  treachery,  as  was  their  custom  to  do, 
so  as  to  rob  them  of  their  women  and  children  ;  and  this 
was  the  reason  why  they  did  not  believe  the  messengers 
whom  we  had  sent  to  them.  In  addition  to  this  they  said 
that  the  Indians  who  had  first  gone  forth  to  make  war  on 
us  as  we  entered  their  country  had  "Slone  it  without  their 
orders  or  advice,  but  by  that  of  the  Chuntales^  Estomies, 
who  were  wild  people  and  very  stupid,  and  that  when  they 
saw  that  we  were  so  few  in  number,  they  thought  to 
capture  us  and  carry  us  off  as  prisoners  to  their  lords 
and  gain  thanks  for  so  doing ;  that  now  they  came  to 
beg  pardon  for  their  audacity,  and  had  brought  us  food, 
and  that  every  day  they  would  bring  more  and  trusted 
that  we  would  receive  it  with  the  friendly  feeling  with 
which  it  was  sent ;  that  within  two  days  the  captain 
Xicotenga  would  come  with  other  Caciques  and  give  a 

*  "  Chontal  in  the  Mexican  language  means  barbarous,"  Relaciones 
de  Yucatan^  vol.  ii,  p.  342  ;  it  here  means  the  barbarous  Otomis.  The 
Otomis,  according  to  Aztec  tradition,  were  the  earliest  owners  of  the 
soil  in  Central  Mexico  ;  their  headquarters  were  in  what  are  now 
known  as  the  States  of  Queretaro  and  Guanajuato,  but  there  were 
Otomi  communities  living  among  other  tribes  in  many  parts  of 
Central  Mexico. 


further  account  of  the  sincere  wish  of  all  Tlaxcala  to  enjoy 
our  friendship. 

As  soon  as  they  had  finished  their  discourse  they  bowed 
their  heads  and  placed  their  hands  on   the  ground   and 
kissed  the  earth.     Then  Cortes  spoke  to  them  through  our 
interpreters  very  seriously,  pretending  he  was  angry,  and 
said  that  there  were  reasons  why  we  should  not   listen 
to  them  and  should  reject  their  friendship,  for  as  soon  as 
we  had  entered  their  country  we  sent  to  them  offering 
peace  and  had  told  them  that  we  wished  to  assist  them 
against  their  enemies,  the  Mexicans,  and  they  would  not 
believe  it  and  wished  to  kill  our  ambassadors ;  and  not 
content  with  that,  they  had  attacked  us  three  times  both 
by  day  and  by  night,  and  had  spied  on  us  and  held  us 
under  observation  ;  and  in  the  attacks  which  they  made  on 
us  we  might  have  killed  many  of  their  vassals,  but  he 
would  not,  and  he  grieved  for  those  who  were  killed  ;  but 
it  was  their  own  fault  and  he  had  made  up  his  mind  to  go 
to  the  place  where  the  old  chiefs  were  living  and  to  attack 
them  ;  but  as  they  had   now  sought  peace  in  the  name 
of  that  province,  he  would  receive  them  in  the  name  of  our 
lord   the   King  and  thank   them  for  the  food  they  had 
brought.    He  told  them  to  go  at  once  to  their  chieftains 
and  tell  them  to  come  or  send  to  treat  for  peace  with  fuller 
powers,  and  that  if  they  did  not  come  we  would  go  to  their 
town  and  attack  them. 

He  ordered  them  to  be  given  some  blue  beads  to  be 
handed  to  their  Caciques  as  a  sign  of  peace,  and  he  warned 
them  that  when  they  came  to  our  camp  it  should  be  by 
day  and  not  by  night,  lest  we  should  kill  them. 

Then  those  four  messengers  departed,  and  left  in  some 
Indian  houses  a  little  apart  from  our  camp,  the  Indian 
women  whom  they  had  brought  to  make  bread,  some 
poultry,  and  all  the  necessaries  for  service,  and  twenty 
Indians  to  bring  wood  and  water.     From  now  on  they 


brought  us  plenty  to  eat,  and  when  we  saw  this  and 
believed  that  peace  was  a  reality,  we  gave  great  thanks  to 
God  for  it.  It  had  come  in  the  nick  of  time,  for  we  were 
already  lean  and  worn  out  and  discontented  with  the 
war,  not  knowing  or  being  able  to  forecast  what  would 
be  the  end  of  it. 

In  the  past  chapters  the  historian  Gomara  says  that 
Cortes  ascended  some  cliffs  and  saw  the  town  of  Tzum- 
pantzingo.  I  repeat  that  it  was  close  by  our  camp  and 
that  the  soldier  must  have  been  very  blind  who  wishing  to 
see  it  could  not  see  it  and  see  it  very  clearly.  He  also 
says  that  the  soldiers  wanted  to  mutiny  and  rebel,  and  he 
says  other  things  which  I  do  not  care  to  write  down,  as  it 
is  a  waste  of  words.  I  say  that  never  in  the  world  was  a 
captain  obeyed  with  more  respect  and  punctuality,  as  will 
be  seen  further  on.  No  such  thought  entered  into  the 
head  of  a  single  soldier  from  the  time  we  marched  inland, 
unless  it  was  on  the  one  occasion  of  the  sand  dunes. 

The  words  which  were  said  in  this  last  chapter  were  by 
way  of  advice  and  because  it  seemed  to  them  that  they 
were  right  and  not  for  any  other  reason,  for  the  men  always 
followed  him  truly  and  loyally.  Whoever  sees  Gomara's 
history  will  believe  it  to  be  true,  as  it  is  expressed  with 
such  eloquence,  although  it  is  quite  the  reverse  of  what 
really  took  place. 

I  will  leave  off  here  and  will  go  on  to  tell  what  took 
place  later,  about  some  messengers  sent  by  the  great 



How  ambassadors  from  Montezuma,  the  great  lord  of  Mexico,  came 
to  our  camp,  and  of  the  present  which  they  brought. 

As  our  Lord  God,  through  his  great  loving  kindness,  was 
pleased  to  give  us  victory  in  those  battles  in  Tlaxcala,  our 
fame  spread  throughout  the  surrounding  country,  and 
reached  the  ears  of  the  great  Montezuma  in  the  great  City 
of  Mexico  ;  and  if  hitherto  they  took  us  for  Teules,  which 
is  the  same  as  their  idols,  from  now  on  they  held  us  in 
even  greater  respect  as  valiant  warriors,  and  terror  fell  on 
the  whole  country  at  learning  how,  being  so  few  in  number 
and  the  Tlaxcalans  in  such  great  force,  we  had  conquered 
them  and  that  they  had  sued  us  for  peace.  So  that  now 
Montezuma,  the  great  Prince  of  Mexico,  powerful  as  he 
was,  was  in  fear  of  our  going  to  his  city,  and  sent  five 
chieftains,  men  of  much  importance,  to  our  camp  at 
Tlaxcala  to  bid  us  welcome,  and  say  that  he  was  rejoiced 
at  our  great  victory  against  so  many  squadrons  of  warriors, 
and  he  sent  a  present,  a  matter  of  a  thousand  dollars  worth 
of  gold,  in  very  rich  jewelled  ornaments,  worked  in  various 
shapes,  and  twenty  loads  of  fine  cotton  cloth,  and  he  sent 
word  that  he  wished  to  become  the  vassal  of  our  great 
Emperor,  and  that  he  was  pleased  that  we  were  already 
near  his  city,  on  account  of  the  good  will  that  he  bore 
Cortes  and  all  his  brothers,  the  Teules,  who  were  with 
him  (for  so  they  called  us)  and  that  he  [Cortes]  should 
decide  how  much  tribute  he  wished  for  every  year  for  our 
great  Emperor,  and  that  he  [Montezuma]  would  give  it  in 
gold  and  silver,  cloth  and  chalchihuites,  provided  we  would 
not  come  to  Mexico.  This  was  not  because  he  would  not 
receive  us  with  the  greatest  willingness,  but  because  the 
land  was  rough  and  sterile,  and  he  would  regret  to  see  us 
undergo   such    hardships   which  perchance  he  might  not 


be  able  to  alleviate  as  well  as  he  could  wish.  Cortes 
answered  by  saying  that  he  highly  appreciated  the  good 
will  shown  us,  and  the  present  which  had  been  sent,  and 
the  offer  to  pay  tribute  to  his  Majesty,  and  he  begged  the 
messengers  not  to  depart  until  he  went  to  the  capital  of 
Tlaxcala,  as  he  would  despatch  them  from  that  place,  for 
they  could  then  see  how  that  war  ended,  and  he  did  not 
wish  to  give  them  his  reply  at  once,  because  he  had  pui^ed 
himself  the  day  before  with  some  camomiles  such  as  are 
found  in  the  Island  of  Cuba,  and  are  very  good  for  one 
who  knows  how  to  take  them.  I  will  leave  this  subject 
and  tell  what  else  happened  in  our  camp. 


How  Xicotenga,  the  Captain  General  of  Tlaxcala,  came  to  treat  for 
peace,  and  what  he  said  and  what  he  settled  with  us. 

Cortes  was  talking  to  the  ambassadors  of  Montezuma,  as 
I  have  already  said,  and  wanted  to  take  some  rest,  for  he 
was  ill  with  fever  and  had  purged  himself  the  day  before, 
when  they  came  to  tell  him  that  the  Captain  Xicotenga 
was  arriving  with  many  other  Caciques  and  Captains,  all 
clothed  in  white  and  red  cloaks,  half  of  the  cloak  was  white 
and  the  other  half  red,  for  this  was  the  device  and  livery  of 
Xicotenga,  [who  was  approaching]  in  a  very  peaceful 
manner,  and  was  bringing  with*  him  in  his  company  about 
fifty  chieftains. 

When  Xicotenga  reached  Cortés's  quarters  he  paid  him 
the  greatest  respect  by  his  obeisance,  and  ordered  much 
copal  to  be  burned.  Cortes,  with  the  greatest  show  of 
affection,  seated  him  by  his  side  and  Xicotenga  said  that  he 
came  on  behalf  of  his  father  and  of  Mase  Escasi  and  all  the 
Caciques,  and  Commonwealth  of  Tlaxcala  to  pray  Cortes 

266  xicotenga's  speech. 

to  admit  them  to  our.  friendship,  and  that  he  came  to  render 
obedience  to  our  King  and  Lord,  and  to  ask  pardon  for 
having  taken  up  arms  and  made  war  upon  us.  That  this 
had  been  done  because  they  did  not  know  who  we  were, 
and  they  had  taken  it  for  certain  that  we  had  come  on 
behalf  of  their  enemy  Montezuma,  and  as  it  frequently 
happened  that  craft  and  cunning  was  used  to  gain  entrance 
to  their  country  so  as  to  rob  and  pillage  it,  they  had 
believed  that  this  was  now  the  case,  and  for  that  reason 
had  endeavoured  to  defend  themselves  and  their  country, 
and  were  obliged  to  show  fight  He  said  that  they  were 
a  very  poor  people  who  possessed  neither  gold,  nor  silver, 
nor  precious  stones,  nor  cotton  cloth,  nor  even  salt  to  eat, 
because  Montezuma  gave  them  no  opportunity  to  go  out 
and  search  for  it,  and  that  although  their  ancestors  pos- 
sessed some  gold  and  precious  stones,  they  had  been  given 
to  Montezuma  on  former  occasions  when,  to  save  them- 
selves from  destruction,  they  had  made  peace  or  a  truce, 
and  this  had  been  in  times  long  past ;  so  that  if  they  had 
nothing  to  give  now,  we  must  pardon  them  for  it,  for 
poverty  and  not  the  want  of  good  will  was  the  cause  of  it. 
He  made  many  complaints  of  Montezuma  and  his  allies 
who  were  all  hostile  to  them  and  made  war  on  them, 
but  they  had  defended  themselves  very  well.  Now  they 
had  thought  to  do  the  same  against  us,  but  they  could  not 
do  it  although  they  had  gathered  against  us  three  times 
with  all  their  warriors,  and  we  must  be  invincible,  and  when 
they  found  this  out  about  our  persons  they  wished  to 
become  friends  with  us  and  the  vassals  of  the  great  prince 
the  Emperor  Don  Carlos,  for  they  felt  sure  that  in  our 
company  they  and  their  women  and  children  would  be 
guarded  and  protected,  and  would  not  live  in  dread  of  the 
Mexican  traitors,  and  he  said  many  other  words  placing 
themselves  and  their  city  at  our  disposal. 

Xicotenga  was  tall,  broad  shouldered  and  well  made; 

PEACE   MADE  WITH  TLAXCALA.         267 

his  face  was  long,  pockmarked  and  coarse,  he  was  about 
thirty-five  years  old  and  of  a  dignified  deportment. 

Cortes  thanked  him  very  courteously,  in  a  most  flattering 
manner,  and  said  that  he  would  accept  them  as  vassals  of 
our  King  and  Lord,  and  as  our  own  friends.  Then  Xico- 
tenga  begged  us  to  come  to  his  city,  for  all  the  Caciques, 
elders  and  priests  were  waiting  to  receive  us  with  great 
rejoicing.  Cortes  replied  that  he  would  go  there  promptly, 
and  would  start  at  once,  were  it  not  for  some  negotiations 
which  he  was  carrying  on  with  the  great  Montezuma,  and 
that  he  would  come  after  he  had  despatched  the  mes- 
sengers. Then  Cortes  spoke  somewhat  more  sharply  and 
severely  about  the  attacks  they  had  made  on  us  both  by 
day  and  night,  adding  that  as  it  could  not  now  be  mended 
he  would  pardon  it.  Let  them  see  to  it  that  the  peace  we 
now  were  granting  them  was  an  enduring  one,  without  any 
change,  for  otherwise  he  would  kill  them  and  destroy  their 
city  and  that  he  [Xicotenga]  should  not  expect  further 
talk  about  peace,  but  only  of  war. 

When  Xicotenga  and  all  the  chieftains  who  had  come 
with  him  heard  these  words  they  answered  one  and  all, 
that  the  peace  would  be  firm  and  true,  and  that  to  prove 
it  they  would  all  remain  with  us  as  hostages. 

There  was  further  conversation  between  Cortes  and 
Xicotenga  and  most  of  his  chiefs,  and  they  were  given  blue 
and  green  beads  for  Xicotenga's  father,  for  himself,  and  for 
the  other  Caciques,  and  were  told  to  report  that  Cortes 
would  soon  set  out  for  their  city. 

The  Mexican  Ambassadors  were  present  during  all  these 
discussions  and  heard  all  the  promises  that  were  made,  and 
the  conclusion  of  peace  weighed  on  them  heavily,  for  they 
fully  understood  that  it  boded  them  no  good.  And  when 
Xicotenga  had  taken  his  leave  these  Ambassadors  of 
Montezuma  half  laughingly  asked  Cortes  whether  he  be- 
lieved any  of  those  promises  which  were  made  on  behalf 


of  all  TIaxcala,  [alleging]  that  it  was  all  a  trick  which  de- 
served no  credence,  and  the  words  were  those  of  traitors  and 
deceivers ;  that  their  object  was  to  attack  and  kill  us  as  soon 
as  they  had  us  within  their  city  in  a  place  where  they  could 
do  so  in  safety ;  that  we  should  bear  in  mind  how  often 
they  had  put  forth  all  their  strength  to  destroy  us  and  had 
failed  to  do  so,  and  had  lost  many  killed  and  wounded,  and 
that  now  they  offered  a  sham  peace  so  as  to  avenge 
themselves.  Cortes  answered  them,  with  a  brave  face,  that 
their  alleged  belief  that  such  was  the  case  did  not  trouble 
him,  for  even  if  it  were  true  he  would  be  glad  of  it  so  as  to 
.  punish  them  [the  Tlaxcalans]  by  taking  their  lives,  that  it 
did  not  matter  to  him  whether  they  attacked  him  by  day 
or  by  night,  in  the  city  or  in  the  open,  he  did  not  mind  one 
way  or  the  other,  and  it  was  for  the  purpose  of  seeing 
whether  they  were  telling  the  truth  that  he  was  determined 
to  go  to  their  city. 

The  Ambassadors  seeing  that  he  had  made  up  his  mind 
begged  him  to  wait  six  days  in  our  camp  as  they  wished 
to  send  two  of  their  companions  with  a  message  to  their 
Lord  Montezuma,  and  said  that  they  would  return  with  a 
reply  within  six  days.  To  this  Cortes  agreed,  on  the  one 
hand  because,  as  I  have  said  he  was  suffering  from  fever, 
and  on  the  other  because,  although  when  the  Ambassadors 
had  made  these  statements  he  had  appeared  to  attach  no 
importance  to  them,  he  thought  that  there  was  a  chance 
of  their  being  true,  and  that  until  there  was  greater 
certainty  of  peace,  they  were  of  a  nature  requiring  much 

As  at  the  time  that  this  peace  was  made  the  towns  all 
along  the  road  that  we  had  traversed  from  our  Villa  Rica 
de  Vera  Cruz  were  allied  to  us  and  friendly,  Cortes  wrote 
to  Juan  de  Escalante  who,  as  I  have  said,  remained  in  the 
town  to  finish  building  the  fort,  and  had  under  his  command 
the  sixty  old  or  sick  soldiers  who  had  been  left  behind. 

WHO  WAS   AT  VILLA   RICA.  269 

In  these  letters  he  told  them  of  the  great  mercies  which 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  had  vouchsafed  to  us  in  the  victories 
which  we  had  gained  in  our  battles  and  encounters  since 
we  had  entered  the  province  of  Tlaxcala,  which  had  now 
sued  for  peace  with  us,  and  asked  that  all  of  them  would 
give  thanks  to  God  for  it.  He  also  told  them  to  see  to  it 
that  they  always  kept  on  good  terms  with  our  friends  in 
the  towns  of  the  Totonacs,  and  he  told  him  to  send  at  once 
two  jars  of  wine  which  had  been  left  behind,  buried  in  a 
certain  marked  place  in  his  lodgings,  and  some  sacred 
wafers  for  the  Mass,  which  had  been  brought  from  the 
Island  of  Cuba,  for  those  which  we  had  brought  on  this 
expedition  were  already  finished. 

These  letters  were  most  welcome,  and  Escalante  wrote 
in  reply  to  say  what  had  happened  in  the  town,  and  all 
that  was  asked  for  arrived  very  quickly. 

About  this  time  we  set  up  a  tall  and  sumptuous  cross 
in  our  camp,  and  Cortes  ordered  the  Indians  of  Tzum- 
pantzingo  and  those  who  dwelt  in  the  houses  near  our  camp 
to  whitewash  it,  and  it  was  beautifully  finished. 

I  must  cease  writing  about  this  and  return  to  our  new 
friends  the  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala,  who  when  they  saw  that 
we  did  not  go  to  their  city,  came  themselves  to  our  camp 
and  brought  poultry  and  tunas,^  which  were  then  in  season, 
each  one  brought  some  of  the  food  which  he  had  in  his 
house  and  gave  it  to  us  with  the  greatest  good  will  without 
asking  anything  in  return,  and  they  always  begged  Cortes 
to  come  with  them  soon  to  their  city.  As  we  had  promised 
to  wait  six  days  for  the  return  of  the  Mexicans,  Cortes 
put  off  the  Tlaxcalans  with  fair  speeches.  When  the  time 
expired,  according  to  their  word,  six  chieftains,  men  of 
great  importance,  arrived  from  Mexico,  and  brought  a  rich 
present  from  the  great  Montezuma  consisting  of  valuable 

^  Tuna=the  prickly  pear,  the  fruit  of  the  Nopal  Cactus  (Opuntia). 


gold  jewels  wrought  in  various  shapes  worth  three  thousand 
pesos  in  gold,  and  two  hundred  pieces  of  cloth,  richly 
worked  with  feathers  and  other  patterns.  When  they 
offered  this  present  the  Chieftains  said  to  Cortes  that 
their  Lord  Montezuma  was  delighted  to  hear  of  our 
success,  but  that  he  prayed  him  most  earnestly  on  no 
account  to  go  with  the  people  of  Tlaxcala  to  their  town, 
nor  to  place  any  confidence  in  them,  that  they  wished  to 
get  him  there  to  rob  him  of  his  gold  and  cloth,  for  they 
were  very  poor,  and  did  not  possess  a  decent  cotton  cloak 
among  them,  and  that  the  knowledge  that  Montezuma 
looked  on  us  as  friends,  and  was  sending  us  gold  and 
jewels  and  cloth,  would  still  more  induce  the  Tlaxcalans 
to  rob  us. 

Cortes  received  the  present  with  delight,  and  said  that 
he  thanked  them  for  it  and  would  repay  their  Lord  Monte- 
zuma with  good  works,  and  if  he  should  perceive  that  the 
Tlaxcalans  had  that  in  mind  against  which  Montezuma 
had  sent  them  to  warn  him,  they  would  pay  for  it  by  having 
all  their  lives  taken,  but  he  felt  sure  they  would  be  guilty 
of  no  such  villainy,  and  he  still  meant  to  go  and  see  what 
they  would  do. 

While  this  discussion  was  proceeding,  many  other  mes- 
sengers from  Tlaxcala  came  to  tell  Cortes  that  all  the  old 
Caciques  from  the  Capital  and  from  the  whole  province 
had  arrived  at  our  ranchos  and  huts,  in  order  to  see  Cortes 
and  all  of  us,  and  to  take  us  to  their  city.  When  Cortes 
heard  this  he  begged  the  Mexican  Ambassadors  to  wait 
for  three  days  for  the  reply  to  their  prince,  as  he  had  at 
present  to  deliberate  and  decide  about  the  past  hostilities 
and  the  peace  which  was  now  offered,  and  the  Ambassadors 
said  that  they  would  wait. 

What  the  old  Caciques  said  to  Cortes  I  will  now  go  on 
to  relate. 



How  the  old  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala  came  to  our  Camp  to  beg  Cortes 
and  all  of  us  to  go  with  them  at  once  to  their  city,  and  what 
happened  about  it. 

When  the  old  Caciques  from  all  Tlaxcala  saw  that  we  did 
not  come  to  their  city,  they  decided  to  come  to  us,  some  in 
litters,  others  in  hammocks  or  carried  on  men's  backs,  and 
others  on  foot.  These  were  the  Caciques  already  men- 
tioned by  me,  named  Mase  Escasi,  Xicotenga  the  elder, 
Guaxolocingo,  Chichimecatecle,  and  Tecapaneca  of  Topey- 
anco.^  They  arrived  at  our  camp  with  a  great  company  of 
chieftains,  and  with  every  sign  of  respect  made  three 
obeisances  to  Cortes  and  to  all  of  us,  and  they  burnt  copal 
and  touched  the  ground  with  their  hands  and  kissed  it, 
and  Xicotenga  the  elder  began  to  address  Cortes  in  the 
following  words : — 

"  Malinche,  Malinche,*  we  have  sent  many  times  to  im- 
plore you  to  pardon  us  for  having  attacked  you  and  to 
state  our  excuse,  that  we  did  it  to  defend  ourselves  from 
the  hostility  of  Montezuma  and  his  powerful  forces,  for  we 
believed  that  you  belonged  to  his  party  and  were  allied 
to  him.  If  we  had  known  what  we  now  know,  we  should 
not  only  have  gone  out  to  receive  you  on  the  roads  with 
supplies  of  food,  but  would  even  have  had  them  swept  for 
you,  and  we  would  even  have  gone  to  you  to  the  sea  where 
you  keep  your  acales  (which  are  the  ships).  Now  that  you 
have  pardoned  us,  what  I  and  all  these  Caciques  have  come 
to  request  is,  that  you  will  come  at  once  with  us  to  our 
City,  where  we  will  give  you  of  all  that  we  possess  and 
will  serve  you  with  our  persons  and  property.     Look  to  it 

^  Padre  Rivera  gives  the  names  of  the  four  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala  as 
Maxixcatzin,Xicotencatl,Tlehuexolot2Ín,  and  Citlalpopocatzin.  {Anales 
Mexicanos^  p-  9^.) 

'  Sometimes  spelt  Malinchi,  sometimes  Malinche. 


Malinche  that  you  do  not  decide  otherwise  or  we  will  leave 
you  at  once,  for  we  fear  that  perchance  these  Mexicans 
may  have  told  you  some  of  the  falsehoods  and  lies  that 
they  are  used  to  tell  about  us.  Do  not  believe  them  nor 
listen  to  them,  for  they  are  false  in  everything,  and  we  well 
know  that  it  is  on  their  account  that  you  have  not  wished 
to  come  to  our  City/* 

Cortes  answered  them  with  cheerful  mien  and  said, 
that  it  was  well  known,  many  years  before  we  had  come 
to  these  countries,  what  a  good  people  they  were  and 
that  it  was  on  this  account  that  he  wondered  at  their 
attacking  us. 

He  said  that  the  Mexicans  who  were  there  were  [merely] 
awaiting  a  reply  which  he  was  sending  to  their  Lord 

He  thanked  them  heartily  for  what  they  said  about  our 
going  at  once  to  their  city  and  for  the  food  which  they 
were  continally  sending  and  for  their  other  civilities,  and 
he  would  repay  them  by  good  deeds.  He  said  that  he 
would  already  have  set  out  for  their  City  if  he  had  had 
anyone  to  carry  the  tepuzques  (that  is  the  cannon).  As 
soon  as  they  heard  these  words  the  Tlaxcalans  were  so 
pleased  that  one  could  see  it  in  their  faces,  and  they  said 
"  So  this  is  the  reason  why  you  have  delayed,  and  never 
mentioned  it."  And  in  less  than  half  an  hour  they  pro- 
vided over  five  hundred  Indian  carriers. 

The  next  day  early  in  the  morning  we  began  our  march 
along  the  road  to  the  Capital  of  Tlaxcala  keeping  in  good 
formation,  the  artillery  as  well  as  the  horsemen,  musketeers, 
crossbowmen  and  the  rest,  as  it  was  always  our  custom 
to  do. 

The  messengers  of  Montezuma  had  already  begged 
Cortes  that  they  might  go  with  us  to  see  how  affairs  were 
settled  at  Tlaxcala  and  that  he  would  despatch  them  from 
there,  and    that  they  should    be  quartered   in   his  own 

THE   NAME  "  MALINCHE."  2/3 

lodgings  SO  as  not  to  receive  any  insults,  for,  as  they  said, 
they  feared  such  from  the  Tlaxcalans. 

Before  going  on  any  further  I  wish  to  say  that  in  all  the 
towns  we  had  passed  through,  and  in  others  where  they 
had  heard  of  us,  Cortes  was  called  Malinche,  and  so  I  will 
call  him  Malinche  from  now  henceforth  in  all  the  accounts 
of  conversations  which  were  held  with  any  of  the  Indians, 
both  in  this  province  as  well  as  in  the  City  of  Mexico. 
And  I  will  not  call  him  Cortes  except  in  such  places  as  it 
may  be  befitting. 

The  reason  why  he  was  given  this  name  is  that  Dona 
Marina,  our  interpreter,  was  always  in  his  company, 
particularly  when  any  Ambassadors  arrived,  and  she 
spoke  to  them  in  the  Mexican  language.  So  that  they 
gave  Cortes  the  name  of  "  Marina's  Captain "  and  for 
short  Malinche. 

This  name  was  also  attached  to  a  certain  Juan  Perez  de 
Artiaga^  (a  settler  at  Puebla)  because  he  always  went  with 
Dofla  Marina  and  Jerónimo  de  Aguilar  in  order  to  learn 
the  language,  and  for  this  reason  they  called  him  Juan 
Perez  Malinche,  as  a  title  of  distinction  to  Artiago,  as  we 
learnt  about  two  years  later  on. 

I  have  liked  to  call  some  of  these  things  to  mind 
although  there  is  no  particular  reason  for  it,  excepting 
that  it  should  be  understood  from  now  onwards  that  when 
Malinche  is  mentioned  it  means  Cortes. 

I  also  wish  to  say  that  from  the  time  we  entered  the 
territory  of  Tlaxcala  until  we  set  out  for  the  city,  twenty 

*  Written  in  the  original  Artiaga  or  Artiago.  In  the  letter  from  the 
army  of  Cortes  to  the  Emperor  (Icazbalceta's  Coleccion  de  Docu- 
mentos  para  la  Historia  de  Mexico)  the  name  is  signed  as  what 
appears  to  be  Juan  Perez  de  Aquitiano,  but  the  word  Aquitiano  is  so 
imperfectly  written  that  Icazbalceta  has  printed  it  in  a  different 
type  as  doubtful. 



four  days  had  elapsed,  and  we  entered  the  city  on  the 
23rd  September,  15 19.  Now  let  us  begin  a  fresh  chapter 
and  I  will  relate  what  happened  to  us  there. 


How  we  went  to  the  City  of  Tlaxcala,  and  what  the  old  Caciques  did, 
about  the  present  that  they  gave  us,  and  how  they  brought  their 
daughters  and  nieces,  and  what  else  happened. 

When  the  Caciques  saw  that  our  baggage  was  on  the  way 
to  their  city,  they  at  once  went  on  ahead  to  see  that 
everything  was  ready  for  our  reception  and  that  our 
quarters  were  decked  with  garlands. 

When  we  arrived  within  a  quarter  of  a  league  of  the 
city,  these  same  Caciques  who  had  gone  on  ahead  came 
out  to  receive  us,  and  brought  with  them  their  sons  and 
nephews  and  many  of  the  leading  inhabitants,  each  group 
of  kindred  and  clan  and  party  by  itself.  There  were  four 
parties  in  Tlaxcala,  without  counting  that  of  Tecapaneca 
the  lord  of  Topeyanco  which  made  five.  Their  followers 
also  came  from  all  parts  of  the  country  wearing  their 
different  liveries,  and  although  they  were  made  of  henequen, 
for  there  was  no  cotton  to  be  obtained,  they  were  very  fine 
and  beautifully  embroidered  and  painted.  Then  came  the 
priests  from  all  parts  of  the  province,  and  they  were  very 
numerous  on  account  of  the  great  oratories  which  they 
possess,  which  I  have  said  are  called  Cues  by  the  people, 
and  are  the  places  where  they  keep  their  idols  and  offer 
sacrifices.  These  priests  carried  braziers  with  live  coals 
and  incense  and  fumigated  all  of  us,  and  some  of  them 
were  clothed  in  very  long  garments  like,  fur  cloaks  and 
these  were  white,  and  they  wore  hoods  over  them  which 
looked  like  those  used  by  canons,  as  I  have  already  said, 
and  their  hair  was  very  long  and  tangled  so  that  it  could 


not  be  parted  unless  it  were  cut,  and  it  was  clotted  with 
blood  which  oozed  from  their  ears,  which  on  that  day  they 
had  cut  by  way  of  sacrifice  ;  and  they  lowered  their  heads 
as  a  sign  of  humility  when  they  saw  us. 

The  nails  on  their  fingers  were  very  long,  and  we  heard 
it  said  that  these  priests  were  very  pious  and  led  good 

Many  of  the  chieftains  came  near  to  Cortes  and  accom- 
panied him,  and  when  we  entered  the  town  there  was  not 
space  in  the  streets  and  on  the  roofs  for  all  the  Indian  men 
and  women  with  happy  faces  who  came  out  to  see  us. 
They  brought  us  about  twenty  cones  made  of  sweet 
scented  native  roses  of  various  colours,  and  gave  them  to 
Cortes  and  t©  the  other  soldiers  whom  they  thought  were 
Captains,  especially  to  the  horsemen.  When  we  arrived  at 
some  fine  courts  where  our  quarters  were,  Xicotenga  the 
elder  and  Mase  Escasi  took  Cortes  by  the  hand  and  led 
him  into  his  lodging.  For  each  one  of  us  had  been  prepared 
a  bed  of  matting  such  as  they  use,  and  sheets  of  henequen. 
Our  friends  whom  we  had  brought  from  Cempoala  and 
Zocatlan  were  lodged  near  to  us,  and  Cortes  asked  that 
the  messengers  from  the  great  Montezuma  might  also  be 
given  quarters  close  to  his  lodging. 

Although  we  could  see  clearly  that  we  were  in  a  land 
where  they  were  well  disposed  towards  us,  and  were  quite 
at  peace,  we  did  not  cease  to  be  very  much  on  the  alert  as 
was  always  our  custom,  and  it  appears  that  one  captain 
whose  duty  it  was  to  station  the  scouts  and  spies  and 
watchmen  said  to  Cortes,  "  It  seems,  sir,  that  the  people 
are  very  peaceful  and  we  do  not  need  so  many  guards,  nor 
to  be  so  circumspect  as  we  are  accustomed  to  be."  Cortes 
replied,  "  Well  gentlemen,  I  can  myself  see  all  that  you 
have  brought  to  my  notice,  but  it  is  a  good  custom  always 
to  be  prepared,  and  although  these  may  be  very  good 
people,  we  must  not  trust  to  their  peacefulness,  but  must 

T  2 



be  as  alert  as  we  should  be  if  they  intended  to  make  war 
on  us  and  we  saw  them  coming  on  to  the  attack,  for  many 
captains  have  been  defeated  through  overconfidence  and 
carelessness.  It  is  especially  necessarj^  for  us  always  to  be 
on  the  alert  as  we  are  so  few  in  number,  and  whether 
it  was  done  in  good  faith  or  bad,  we  must  remember 
that  the  great  Montezuma  has  sent  to  warn  us."  Let  us 
stop  talking  about  all  the  arrangements  and  order  which 
we  kept  up  in  our  watches  and  guards,  and  go  on  to  say 
how  Xicotenga  the  elder  and  Mase  Escasi,  who  were  the 
great  Caciques,  were  greatly  annoyed  with  Cortes  and  said 
to  him  through  our  interpreters,  "  Malinche,  either  you' 
take  us  for  enemies  or  you  show  signs  in  what  we  see  you 
doing  that  you  have  no  confidence  in  us  or  in  the  peace 
which  you  promised  to  us  and  we  promised  to  you,  and  we 
say  this  to  you  because  we  see  that  you  keep  watch, 
and  travelled  along  the  road  all  ready  for  action  in  the 
same  way  as  when  you  attacked  our  squadrons,  an4  we 
believe  that  you,  Malinche,  do  this  on  account  of  the 
treasons  and  abominations  which  the  Mexicans  have  told 
you  in  secret  so  as  to  turn  you  against  us.  See  to  it 
that  you  do  not  believe  them,  for  you  are  established  here, 
and  we  will  give  you  all  that  you  desire,  even  ourselves  and 
our  children,  and  we  are  ready  to  die  for  you,  so  you 
can  demand  as  hostages  whatever  you  may  wish." 

Cortes  and  all  of  us  marvelled  at  the  courtesy  and 
affection  with  which  they  spoke,  and  Cortes  answered  them 
that  he  had  always  believed  them,  and  there  was  no  need 
of  hostages,  it  was  enough  to  note  their  good  will,  and  that 
as  to  being  on  the  alert,  it  was  always  our  custom,  and  they 
must  not  be  offended  at  it.  He  thanked  them  for  all  they 
had  offered  us,  and  would  repay  them  for  their  kindness  in 
time  to  come.  When  this  conversation  was  over,  other 
chiefs  arrived  with  a  great  supply  of  poultry  and  maize 
bread,  and  tunas  and  other  fruits  and  vegetables  which  the 

t>RESENTAT10N   OF  GIFTS.  27; 

country  produced,  and  supplied  the  camp  very  liberally, 
and  during  the  twenty  days  that  we  stayed  there  there  was 
always  more  than  enough  to  eat 

We  made  our  entry  into  the  city,  as  I  have  said,  on  the 
23rd  September,  15 19.  I  will  leave  off  here,  and  go  on 
to  say  what  else  happened. 


How  Mass  was  said  in  the  presence  of  many  of  the  Caciques,  and 
about  a  present  which  the  old  Caciques  brought  us. 

Early  next  day  Cortes  ordered  an  Altar  to  be  put  up  and 
Mass  to  be  said,  for  now  we  had  both  the  wine  and  the 
sacred  wafers. 

It  was  the  priest  Juan  Diaz  who  said  the  Mass,  for  the 
Padre  de  la  Merced  was  ill  with  fever  and  very  feeble. 
There  were  present  Mase  Escasi  and  Xicotenga  the  elder 
and  other  Caciques.  When  Mass  was  over  Cortes  entered 
his  lodging  with  some  of  us  soldiers  who  usually  accom- 
panied him,  and  the  two  old  Caciques,  and  Xicotenga  said 
to  him  that  they  wished  to  bring  him  a  present,  and  Cortes 
showed  much  affection  to  them,  and  said  that  they  should 
bring  it  whenever  they  wished,  so  some  mats  were  at 
once  spread  out  and  covered  with  a  cloth,  and  they  brought 
six  or  seven  trifles  of  gold,  and  some  stones  of  small  value, 
and  some  loads  of  henequen  cloth ;  it  was  all  very  poor 
and  not  even  worth  twenty  dollars  and  when  it  had  been 
presented,  those  Caciques  said,  laughing,  "Malinche,  we 
know  well  enough  that  as  what  we  have  to  give  is  so  small 
you  will  not  receive  it  with  good  grace.  We  have  already 
sent  to  tell  you  that  we  are  poor  and  that  we  own  neither 
gold  nor  riches,  and  the  reason  of  it  is  that  these  traitorous 
and  evil  Mexicans  and  Montezuma,  who  is  now  their  Lord, 
have  taken  all  that  we  once  possessed,  when  we  asked  them 


for  peace  or  a  truce,  to  prevent  their  making  war  on  us,  so 
do  not  consider  the  small  value  of  the  gift,  but  accept 
it  with  a  good  grace  as  the  gift  of  friends  and  servants 
which  we  will  be  to  you."  Then  they  brought,  separately, 
a  large  supply  of  food. 

Cortes  accepted  it  most  cheerfully,  and  said  to  them  that 
he  valued  it  more  as  coming  from  their  hands  with  the 
good  will  with  which  it  was  oflFered,  than  he  would  a  house 
full  of  grains  of  gold  brought  by  others,  and  it  was  in  this 
spirit  that  he  accepted  it,  and  he  displayed  much  afTection 
towards  them. 

It  appears  that  it  had  been  arranged  among  all  the 
Caciques  to  give  us  from  among  their  daughters  and 
nieces  the  most  beautiful  of  the  maidens  who  were  ready 
for  marriage,  and  Xicotenga  the  elder  said  "  Malinche,  so 
that  you  may  know  more  clearly  our  good  will  towards 
ycLU  and  our  desire  to  content  you  in  everything,  we  wish 
to  give  you  our  daughters,  to  be  your  wives,  so  that  you 
may  have  children  by  them,  for  we  wish  to  consider  you  as 
brothers  as  you  are  so  good  and  valiant.  I  have  a  very 
beautiful  daughter  who  has  not  been  married,  and  I  wish 
to  give  her  to  you,"  so  also  Mase  Escasi  and  all  the  other 
Caciques  said  that  they  would  bring  their  daughters,  and 
that  we  should  accept  them  as  wives,  and  they  made  many 
other  speeches  and  promises.  Throughout  the  day  Mase 
Escasi  and  Xicotenga  the  elder  never  left  Cortes*  im- 
mediate neighbourhood.  As  Xicotenga  the  elder  was 
blind  from  old  age,  he  felt  Cortes  all  over  his  head  and 
face  and  beard  and  over  all  his  body. 

Cortes  replied  to  them  that,  as  to  the  gift  of  the 
women,  he  and  all  of  us  were  very  grateful  and  would 
repay  them  with  good  deeds  as  time  went  on.  The  Padre 
de  la  Merced  was  present  and  Cortes  said  to  him  "  Senor 
Padre,  it  seems  to  me  that  this  would  be  a  good  time  to 
make  an  attempt  to  induce  these  Caciques  to  give  up  their 


Idols  and  their  sacrifices,  for  they  will  do  anything  we  tell 
them  to  do  on  account  of  the  great  fear  they  have  of  the 
Mexicans."  The  friar  replied,  "  Sir,  that  is  true,  but  let  us 
leave  the  matter  until  they  bring  their  daughters  and  then 
there  will  be  material  to  work  upon,  and  your  honour  can 
say  that  you  do  not  wish  to  accept  them  until  they  give  up 
sacrifices — if  that  succeeds,  good,  if  not  we  shall  do  our 

So  thus  the  matter  rested  until  next  day,  and  what  was 
done  I  will  go  on  to  relate. 


How  they  brought  their  daughters  to  present  to  Cortes  and  to  all  of 
us,  and  what  was  done  about  it. 

The  next  day  the  same  old  Caciques  came  and  brought 
with  them  five  beautiful  Indian  maidens,  and  for  Indians 
they  were  very  good  looking  and  well  adorned,  and  each 
of  the  Indian  maidens  brought  another  Indian  girl  as  her 
servant,  and  all  were  the  daughters  of  Caciques,  and 
Xicotenga  said  to  Cortes,  "  Malinche,  this  is  my  daughter 
who  has  never  been  married  and  is  a  maiden,  take  her  for 
your  own,"  and  he  gave  her  to  him  by  the  hand,  "  and  let 
the  others  be  given  to  the  captains."  Cortes  expressed  his 
thanks,  and  with  every  appearance  of  gratification  said 
that  he  accepted  them  and  took  them  as  our  own,  but 
that  for  the  present  they  should  remain  in  the  care  of  their 
parents.  The  Chiefs  asked  him  why  he  would  not  take 
them  now,  and  Cortes  replied  that  he  wished  first  to  do 
the  will  of  God  our  Lord,  whom  we  believed  in  and  wor- 
shipped, and  that  for  which  our  Lord  the  King  had  sent  us, 
which  was  to  induce  them  to  do  away  with  their  Idols,  and 
no  longer  to  kill  and  sacrifice  human  beings,  and  the  other 
infamies  they  were  wont  to  practise,  and  to  lead  them  to 


believe  in  that  which  we  believed,  that  is  in  one  true  God, 
and  he  told  them  much  more  touching  our  holy  faith,  and 
in  truth  he  expressed  it  very  well,  for  Dona  Marina  and 
Aguilar,  our  interpreters,  were  already  so  expert  at  it  that 
they  explained  it  very  clearly.     He  showed  the  Caciques 
an  image  of  our  Lady,  with  her  precious  Infant  in  her 
arms,  and  explained  to  them  how  that  image  was  in  the 
likeness  of  our  Lady,  who   is  called  Santa  Maria,  who 
dwells  in  the  high  heavens  and  is  the  mother  of  our  Lord, 
who  is  that  Child  Jesus  whom   she  holds   in   her  arms, 
whom  she  conceived  by  the  grace  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  being 
a  virgin  before  His  birth,  and  remaining  a  Virgin  during 
His  birth,  and  after  His  birth,  and  how  that  Great  Lady 
prays  for  us  to  her  precious  Son  who  is  our  God  and  Lord, 
and  he  told  them  many  other  things  which  it  was  fitting  to 
say  about  our  holy  faith.     He  also  told  them  that  if  they 
wished  to  be  our  brothers  and  to  have  true  friendship  with 
us,  so  that  we  should  willingly  accept  their  daughters  and 
take  them,  as  they  said,  for  our  wives,  that  they  should  at 
once  give  up  their  evil  Idols  and  believe  in  and  worship 
our  Lord  God,  who  is  He  in  whom  we  believe  and  whom 
we  worship,  and  they  would  see  how  well  things  would  go 
with  them,  for  in  addition  to  having  good  health  and  good 
seasons,  other  things  would  prosper  with  them,  and  when 
they  died  their  souls  would  go  to  Heaven  to  enjoy  glory 
everlasting ;  but  that  if  they  went  on  making  sacrifices  as 
they  were  accustomed  to  do  to  their  Idols,  which  were 
devils,  they  would  be  led  to  Hell  where  they  would  burn 
for  ever  in  live  flames.     And  as  in  other  discourses  he  had 
already  said  much  about  the  giving  up  of  their  Idols,  he 
said  nothing  more  now  and  what  they  replied  to  it  all  is 
as  follows : — 

*'  Malinche,  we  have  already  understood  from  you  before 
now,  and  we  thoroughly  believe  that  this  God  of  yours  and 
this  great  Lady  are  very  good,  but  look  you,  you  have  only 


just  come  to  our  homes,  as  time  goes  on  we  shall  under- 
stand your  beliefs  much  more  clearly,  and  see  what  they 
are,  and  will  do  what  is  right.  But  how  can  you  ask  us  to 
give  up  our  Teules  which  for  many  years  our  ancestors 
have  held  to  be  gods  and  have  made  sacrifices  to  them  and 
have  worshipped  them  ?  Even  if  we,  who  are  old  men, 
might  wish  to  do  it  to  please  you,  what  would  our  priests 
say,  and  all  our  neighbours,  and  the  youths  and  children 
throughout  the  province?  They  would  rise  against  us, 
especially  as  the  priests  have  already  consulted  the  greatest 
of  our  Teules,  and  he  told  them  not  to  forget  the  sacrifice 
of  men  and  all  the  rites  they  were  used  to  practise,  other- 
wise the  gods  would  destroy  the  whole  province  with 
famine,  pestilence  and  war."  Thus  they  spoke  and  gave 
as  their  answer  that  we  should  not  trouble  to  talk  to  them 
on  that  subject  again  for  they  were  not  going  to  leave  off 
making  sacrifices  even  if  they  were  killed  for  it. 

When  we  heard  that  reply  which  they  gave  so  honestly 
and  without  fear,  the  Padre  de  la  Merced,  who  was  a  wise 
man,  and  a  theologian,  said,  **  Sir,  do  not  attempt  to  press 
them  further  on  this  subject,  for  it  is  not  just  to  make  them 
Christians  by  force,  and  I  would  not  wish  that  you  should 
do  what  we  did  in  Cempoala,  that  is,  destroy  their  Idols, 
until  they  have  some  knowledge  of  our  Holy  Faith. 
What  good  is  it  to  take  away  now  their  Idols  from  one 
oratory  or  cue,  if  they  carry  them  at  once  to  another.  It 
would  be  better  that  they  should  gradually  feel  the  weight 
of  our  admonitions  which  are  good  and  holy,  so  that 
later  on  they  may  realize  the  good  advice  which  we  are 
giving  them."  Furthermore  three  gentlemen,  namely,  Juan 
Velasquez  de  Leon  and  Francisco  de  Lugo,  spoke  to  Cortes 
and  said  "  The  Padre  is  right  in  what  he  says,  you  have 
fulfilled  your  duty  with  what  you  have  done,  and  do  not 
touch  again  on  this  matter  when  speaking  to  these 
Caciques,"  and  so  the  subject  dropped.     What  we  induced 


the  Caciques  to  do,  by  entreaty,  was  at  once  to  clear  out 
one  of  the  cues,  which  was  close  by  and  had  been  recently 
built,  and  after  removing  the  Idols,  to  clean  it  and  white- 
wash it  so  that  we  could  place  a  cross  in  it  and  the  image 
of  Our  Lady,  and  this  they  promptly  did.  Then  Mass 
was  said  there  and  the  Cacicas  were  baptized.  The 
daughter  of  the  blind  Xicotenga  was  given  the  name  of 
Dona  Luisa,  and  Cortes  took  her  by  the  hand  and  gave 
her  to  Pedro  de  Alvarado,  and  said  to  Xicotenga  that  he 
to  whom  he  gave  her  was  his  brother  and  his  Captain,  and 
that  he  should  be  pleased  at  it  as  she  would  be  well  treated 
by  him,  and  Xicotenga  was  contented  that  it  should  be  so. 
The  daughter  or  niece  of  Mase  Escasi  was  named  Dona 
Elvira  and  she  was  very  beautiful  and  it  seems  to  me  that 
she  was  given  to  Juan  Velasquez  de  Leon.  The  others 
were  given  baptismal  names,  always  with  the  title  of 
nobility  (dona),  and  Cortes  gave  them  to  Gonzalo  de 
Sandoval,  and  Cristobal  de  Olid  and  Alonzo  de  Avila. 
When  this  had  been  done  Cortes  told  them  the  reason  why 
he  put  up  two  crosses,  and  that  it  was  because  their  Idols 
were  afraid  of  them,  and  that  wherever  we  were  encamped 
or  wherever  we  slept  they  were  placed  in  the  roads ;  and 
at  all  this  they  were  quite  content. 

Before  I  go  on  any  further  I  wish  to  say  about  the 
Cacica  the  daughter  of  Xicotenga,  who  was  named  Doha 
Luisa  and  was  given  to  Pedro  de  Alvarado,  that  when 
they  gave  her  to  him  all  the  greater  part  of  Tlascala  paid 
reverence  to  her,  and  gave  her  presents,  and  looked  on  her 
as  their  mistress,  and  Pedro  de  Alvarado  who  was  then  a 
bachelor,  had  a  son  by  her  named  Don  Pedro,  and  a 
daughter  named  Dona  Leonor  who  is  now  the  wife  of 
Don  Francisco  de  la  Cueva,  a  nobleman,  and  a  cousin 
of  the  Duke  of  Alberquerque,  who  had  by  her  four  or  five 
sons,  very  good  gentlemen,  and  that  lady  Dona  Leonor, 
is  so  very  excellent  a  lady,  as  might  be  expected,  being 


the  daughter  of  such  a  father,  who  was  a  commendador  of 
[The  Order  of]  Santiago,  Adelantado  and  Governor  of 
Guatemala,  and  the  same  who  went  to  Peru  with  a  great 
fleet,  and  through  his  relation  to  Xicotenga  was  a  great 
Lord  of  Tlaxcala. 

I  must  leave  these  stories  and  return  to  Cortes  who 
questioned  those  Caciques  and  informed  himself  more 
completely  about  the  affairs  of  Mexico.  What  they  said 
about  it  is  what  I  shall  go  on  to  relate. 


How  Cortes  questioned  Mase  Escasi  and  Xicotenga  about  things  in 
Mexico,  and  what  account  they  gave  of  them. 

Cortes  then  took  those  Caciques  aside  and  questioned 
them  very  fully  about  Mexican  affairs.  Xicotenga,  as  he 
was  the  best  informed  and  a  great  chieftain,  took  the  lead 
in  talking,  and  from  time  to  time  he  was  helped  by  Mase 
Escasi  who  was  also  a  great  chief. 

He  said  that  Montezuma  had  such  great  strength  in 
warriors  that  when  he  wished  to  capture  a  great  city  or 
make  a  raid  on  a  province,  he  could  place  a  hundred  and 
fifty  thousand  men  in  the  field,  and  this  they  knew  well 
from  the  experience  of  the  wars  and  hostilities  they  had 
had  with  them  for  more  than  a  hundred  years  past. 

Cortes  asked  them  how  it  was  that  with  so  many  warriors 
as  they  said  came  down  on  them  they  had  never  been 
entirely  conquered.  They  answered  that  although  the 
Mexicans  sometimes  defeated  them  and  killed  them, 
and  carried  off"  many  of  their  vassals  for  sacrifice,  many 
of  the  enemy  were  also  left  dead  on  the  field  and 
others  were  made  prisoners,  and  that  they  never  could 
come  so  secretly  that  they  did  not  get  some  warning,  and 
that  when  they  knew  of  their  approach  they  mustered  all 


their  forces  and  with  the  help  of  the  people  of  Huexotzingo 
they  defended  themselves  and  made  counter  attacks.  That 
as  all  the  provinces  which  had  been  raided  by  Montezuma 
and  placed  under  his  rule  were  ill  disposed  towards  the 
Mexicans,  and  that  as  their  inhabitants  were  carried  off  by 
force  to  the  wars,  they  did  not  fight  with  good  will ;  indeed, 
it  was  from  these  very  men  that  they  received  warnings, 
and  for  this  reason  they  had  defended  their  country  to  the 
best  of  their  ability. 

The  place  from  which  the  most  continuous  trouble  came 
to  them  was  a  very  great  city  a  day's  march  distant,  which 
is  called  Cholula,  whose  inhabitants  are  most  treacherous. 
It  was  there  that  Montezuma  secretly  mustered  his  com- 
panies and,  as  it  was  near  by,  they  made  their  raids  by 
night.  Moreover,  Mase  Escasi  said  that  Montezuma  kept 
garrisons  of  many  warriors  stationed  in  all  the  provinces 
in  addition  to  the  great  force  he  could  bring  from  the  city, 
and  that  all  the  provinces  paid  tribute  of  gold  and  silver, 
feathers,  stones,  cloth  and  cotton,  and  Indian  men  and 
women  for  sacrifice  and  others  for  servants,  that  he 
[Montezuma]  was  such  a  great  prince  that  he  possessed 
everything  he  could  desire,  that  the  houses  where  he  dwelt 
were  full  of  riches  and  [precious]  stones  and  chalchihuites 
which  he  had  robbed  and  taken  by  force  from  those  who 
would  not  give  them  willingly,  and  that  all  the  wealth  of 
the  country  was  in  his  hands. 

Then  they  told  us  about  the  great  staflF  of  servants  in 
his  house,  and  the  story  would  never  cease  were  I  to 
attempt  to  describe  it  all  here,  and  of  the  many  women 
he  possessed,  and  how  he  married  off  some  of  them  ;  in 
fact  they  gave  us  an  account  of  everything. 

Then  they  spoke  of  the  great  fortifications  of  the  city, 
and  what  the  lake  was  like,  and  the  depth  of  water,  and 
about  the  causeways  that  gave  access  to  the  city,  and  the 
wooden  bridges  in  each  causeway,  and  how  one  can  go  in 


and  out  [by  water]  through  the  opening  that  there  is  in 
each  bridge,  and  how  when  the  bridges  are  raised  one  can 
be  cut  off  between  bridge  and  bridge  and  not  be  able  to 
reach  the  city.  How  the  greater  part  of  the  city  was  built 
in  the  lake,  and  that  one  could  not  pass  from  house  to 
house  except  by  draw-bridges  and  canoes  which  they  had 
ready.  That  all  the  houses  were  flat-roofed  and  all  the 
roofs  were  provided  with  parapets  so  that  they  could  fight 
from  them. 

They  also  told  us  about  the  way  the  city  was  provided 
with  fresh  water  from  a  spring  called  Chapultepec  distant 
about  half  a  league  fronj  the  city,  and  how  the  water  enters 
by  an  aqueduct  and  reaches  a  place  whence  they  can  carry 
it  in  canoes  to  sell  it  in  the  streets.  Then  they  told  us 
about  the  arms  that  were  used,  such  as  two  pronged 
javelins  which  they  hurl  with  throwing  sticks,*  and  will 
go  through  any  sort  of  armour,  and  that  there  are  many 
good  archers,  and  others  with  lances  with  flint  edges  which 
have  a  fathom  of  cutting  edge,  so  cleverly  made  that  they 
cut  better  than  knives,  and  they  have  shields,  and  cotton 
armour,  and  there  are  many  slingers  who  sling  rounded 
stones,  and  others  with  very  good  and  long  lances  and 
stone  edged  two  handed  swords. 

They  brought  us  pictures  of  the  battles  they  had  fought 
with  the  Mexicans  painted  on  large  henequen  cloths, 
showing  their  manner  of  fighting. 

As  our  captain  and  all  of  us  had  already  heard  about  all 
that  these  Caciques  were  telling  us,  we  changed  the  subject, 
and  started  them  on  another  more  profound,  which  was, 
how  was  it  that  they  came  to  inhabit  that  land,  and  from 
what  direction  had  they  come  ?  and  how  was  it  that  they 
differed  so  much  from  and  were  so  hostile  to  the  Mexicans, 
seeing  that  their  countries  were  so  close  to  one  another. 

*  Atlatls,  or  spear  throwers. 


They  said  that  their  ancestors  had  told  them,  that  in 
times  past  there  had  lived  among  them  men  and  women  of 
giant  size  with  huge  bones,  and  because  they  were  very 
bad  people  of  evil  manners  that  they  had  fought  with 
them  and  killed  them,  and  those  of  them  who  remained 
died  off.  So  that  we  could  see  how  huge  and  tall  these 
people  had  been  they  brought  us  a  leg  bone  of  one  of 
them  which  was  very  thick  and  the  height  of  a  man  of 
ordinary  stature,  and  that  was  the  bone  from  the  hip  to 
the  knee.  I  measured  myself  against  it  and  it  was  as  tall 
as  I  am  although  I  am  of  fair  size.  They  brought  other 
pieces  of  bones  like  the  first,  but  they  were  already  eaten 
away  and  destroyed  by  the  soil.  We  were  all  amazed  at 
seeing  those  bones  and  felt  sure  that  there  must  have  been 
giants  in  this  country,  and  our  Captain  Cortes  said  to  us 
that  it  would  be  well  to  send  that  great  bone  to  Castille 
so  that  His  Majesty  might  see  it,  so  we  sent  it  with  the 
first  of  our  agents  who  went  there. 

These  Caciques  also  told  us  that  they  had  learnt  from 
their  forefathers  that  one  of  their  Idols,  to  which  they  paid 
the  greatest  devotion,  had  told  them  that  men  would  come 
from  distant  lands  in  the  direction  of  the  rising  sun  to 
subjugate  them  and  govern  them,  and  that  if  we  were  those 
men,  they  were  rejoiced  at  it,  as  we  were  so  good  and 
brave,  and  that  when  they  made  peace  with  us  they 
had  borne  in  mind  what  their  Idols  had  said,  and  for 
this  reason  they  had  given  us  their  daughters  so  as  to 
obtain  relations  who  would  defend  them  against  the 

When  they  had  finished  their  discourse  we  were  all 
astounded  and  said,  can  they  possibly  have  spoken  the 
truth  ?  Then  our  Captain  Cortes  replied  to  them  and  said 
that  certainly  we  came  from  the  direction  of  the  sunrise, 
and  that  our  Lord  the  King  had  sent  us  for  this  very 
purpose  that  we  should  become  as  brothers  to  them  ;  for 

T      "*,        t     <  I 

series  II.       Vol.  XXIII. 

Facsimile  {reduced)  of  Title-page  of 

Showing  Portraits  of  PEDRO  DE  ALVARADO,  DiEGO  DE  ORDAS,  the  Volcano 

of  Popocatepetl,  etc. 

Reþrodnccd  and  printed  for  the  Hakluyt  Society  by  Donald  Macbúih,  fHOt. 
Plate  12.  To  fact  page  2tt> 


he  had  heard  of  them,  and  that  he  prayed  God  to  give  us 
grace,  so  that  by  our  hands  and  our  intercession  they  would 
be  saved,  and  we  all  said  Amen.   , 

The  gentlemen  who  read  this  will  be  weary  of  hearing 
the  discussions  and  conversations  between  us  and  the 
Tlaxcalans  and  the  Tlaxcalans  and  us,  so  I  would  wish  to 
finish  them,  but  I  feel  bound  to  dwell  on  one  other  thing 
which  they  discussed  with  us,  and  that  is  the  volcano  near 
Huexotzingo  which  at  the  time  we  were  in  Tlaxcala 
was  throwing  out  much  fire,  much  more  than  usual.  Our 
Captain  Cortes  and  all  of  us  were  greatly  astonished  as 
we  had  never  seen  such  a  thing  before.  One  of  our 
Captains  named  Diego  de  Ordás  was  very  anxious  to  go 
and  see  what  sort  of  a  thing  it  was,  and  asked  leave  of  the 
general  to  ascend  the  mountain,  and  leave  was  given,^  and 
he  even  expressly  ordered  him  to  do  it.  He  took  with  him 
two  of  our  soldiers  and  certain  Indian  chiefs  from  Huexot- 
zingo, and  the  chiefs  that  he  took  with  him  frightened  him 
by  saying  that  when  one  was  half  way  up  Popocatepetl, 
for  so  the  volcano  is  called,  one  could  not  endure  the 
shaking  of  the  ground  and  the  flames  and  stones  and  ashes 
which  were  thrown  out  of  the  mountain,  and  that  they 
would  not  dare  to  ascend  further  than  where  stood  the 
cues  of  the  Idols  which  are  called  the  Teules  of  Popo- 
catepetl. Nevertheless  Diego  de  Ordás  and  his  two 
companions  went  on  up  until  they  reached  the  summit, 
and  the  Indians  who  had  accompanied  them  remained 
below  and  did  not  dare  to  make  the  ascent.  It  appears 
from  what  Ordás  and  the  two  soldiers  said  afterwards,  that, 
as  they  ascended,  the  volcano  began  to  throw  out  great 
tongues  of  flame,  and  half  burnt  stones  of  little  weight 
and  a  great  quantity  of  ashes,  and  that  the  whole  of  the 

»  This  account  of  the  ascent  of  Popocatepetl  appears  to  be  given  in 
the  wrong  place  by  Bernal  Diaz  :  it  probably  took  place  when  the 
Spaniards  left  Cholula.     See  Cortes'  Second  Letter. 

288  ORDAS   ascends   POPOCATEPETL. 

mountain  range  where  the  volcano  stands  was  shaken,  and 
that  they  stopped  still  without  taking  a  step  in  advance  for 
more  than  an  hour,  when  they  thought  that  the  outburst 
had  passed  and  not  so  much  smoke  and  ashes  were  bein^ 
thrown  out ;  then  they  climbed  up  to  the  mouth  which  was 
very  wide  and  round,  and  opened  to  the  width  of  a  quarter 
of  a  league.  From  this  summit  could  be  seen  the  great 
city  of  Mexico,  and  the  whole  of  the  lake,  and  all  the 
towns  which  were  built  in  it.  This  volcano  is  distant 
twelve  or  thirteen  leagues  from  Mexico. 

Ordás  was  delighted  and  astonished  at  the  sight  of 
Mexico  and  its  cities  and  after  having  had  a  good  look  at 
the  view  he  returned  to  Tlaxcala  with  his  companions,  and 
the  Indians  of  Huexotzingo  and  of  Tlaxcala  looked  on 
it  as  a  deed  of  great  daring.  When  he  told  his  story  to 
Captain  Cortes  and  all  of  us,  we  were  greatly  astonished 
at  it,  for  at  that  time  we  had  not  seen  nor  heard  of  such 
things  as  we  have  to-day,  when  we  know  all  about  it,  and 
many  Spaniards  and  even  some  Franciscan  friars  have 
made  the  ascent  to  the  crater. 

When  Diego  de  Ordás  went  to  Castille  he  asked  the 
King  for  it  [the  mountain]  as  his  [coat  of]  arms  and  his 
nephew  who  lives  at  Puebla,  now  bears  them. 

Since  we  have  been  settled  in  this  land  we  have  never 
known  the  volcano  to  throw  out  so  much  fire  or  make  such 
a  noise  as  it  did  when  we  first  arrived,  and  it  has  even 
remained  some  years  without  throwing  out  any  fire,  up  to 
the  year  1539  when  it  threw  up  great  flames  and  stones 
and  ashes. 

Let  us  cease  telling  about  the  volcano,  for  now  that  we 
know  what   sort  of  a  thing   it  is,  and   have   seen  other  i 

volcanoes  such  as  those  of  Nicaragua  and  Guatemala,  one  1 

might  have  been  silent  about  those  of  Huexotzingo,  and  ' 

left  them  out  of  the  story. 

I   must  tell   how  in   this   town  of  Tlaxcala  we  found 



wooden  houses  furnished  with  gratings,  full  of  Indian  men 
and  women  imprisoned  in  them,  being  fed  up  until  they 
were  fat  enough  to  be  sacrificed  and  eaten.  These  prisons 
we  broke  open  and  destroyed,  and  set  free  the  prisoners 
who  were  in  them,  and  these  poor  Indians  did  not  dare  to 
go  in  any  direction,  only  to  stay  there  with  us  and  thus 
escape  with  their  lives.  From  now  on,  in  all  the  towns 
that  we  entered,  the  first  thing  our  Captain  ordered  us  to 
do  was  to  break  open  these  prisons  and  set  free  the 

These  prisons  are  common  throughout  the  land  and 
when  Cortes  and  all  of  us  saw  such  great  cruelty,  he 
showed  that  he  was  very  angry  with  the  Caciques  of 
Tlaxcala,  and  quarrelled  with  them  very  angrily  about  it, 
and  they  promised  that  from  that  time  forth  they  would 
not  kill  and  eat  any  more  Indians  in  that  way.  I  said 
[to  myself]  of  what  benefit  were  all  those  promises,  for  as 
soon  as  we  turned  our  heads  they  would  commit  the  same 
cruelties.  Let  us  leave  this  subject,  and  I  will  relate  how 
we  arranged  to  go  to  Mexico. 


How  our  Captain  Hernando  Cortes  decided  that  all  of  us  Captains 
and  soldiers  should  go  to  Mexico,  and  what  happened  about  it. 

When  our  Captain  remembered  that  we  had  already  been 
resting  in  Tlaxcala  for  seventeen  days,  and  that  we  had 
heard  so  much  said  about  the  great  wealth  of  Montezuma 
and  his  flourishing  city,  he  arranged  to  take  counsel  with 
all  those  among  our  captains  and  soldiers  whom  he  could 
depend  on  as  wishing  to  advance,  and  it  was  decided  that 
our  departure  should  take  place  without  delay,  but  there 
was  a  good  deal  of  dissent  expressed  in  camp  about  this 



decision,  for  some  soldiers  said  that  it  was  a  very  rash 
thing  to  go  and  enter  into  such  a  strong  city,  as  we  were 
so  few  in  number,  and  they  spoke  of  the  very  great  strength 
of  Montezuma.  Our  Captain  Cortes  replied  that  there 
was  now  no  other  course  open  to  us,  for  we  had  constantly 
asserted  and  proclaimed  that  we  were  going  to  see  Monte- 
zuma, so  that  other  counsels  were  useless. 

His  opponents  seeing  with  what  determination  Cortes 
expressed  himself,  and  knowing  that  many  of  us  soldiers 
were  ready  to  help  him  by  crying:  "Forward  and  good  luck 
to  us,"  dropped  all  further  opposition.  The  men  opposed 
[to  Cortes]  in  this  discussion  were  those  who  owned  pro- 
perty in  Cuba.  I  and  other  poor  soldiers  had  always 
dedicated  our  souls  to  God  who  created  them,  and  our 
bodies  to  wounds  and  hardships,  and  even  to  death  in  the 
service  of  Our  Lord  God  and  of  His  Majesty. 

When  Xicotenga  and  Mase  Escaci,  the  lords  of  Tlaxcala, 
saw  that  we  were  determined  to  go  to  Mexico,  their  spirits 
were  weighed  down,  and  they  were  constantly  with  Cortes 
advising  him  not  to  enter  on  such  an  undertaking,  and  not 
to  trust  Montezuma  neither  in  great  things  nor  in  small, 
nor  any  other  Mexican,  and  not  to  put  faith  in  the  great 
show  of  reverence  he  had  made,  nor  in  his  words,  however 
humble  and  courteous  they  might  be,  nor  even  in  all  the 
presents  that  had  been  sent  to  him,  nor  in  any  of  his 
promises,  for  all  was  the  work  of  traitors,  who  would  turn 
on  him  and  take  back  in  an  hour  all  that  they  had  given, 
and  that  he  must  be  on  his  guard  against  them  both  by 
day  and  by  night,  for  they  felt  sure  that  when  we  were 
most  off  our  guard  they  would  attack  us.     They  advised 
us  when  we  fought  with  them  [the  Mexicans]  to  leave  none 
alive  that  we  were  able  to  kill,  neither  the  youths,  so  that 
they  should  never  be  able  to  carry  arms,  nor  the  old,  lest 
they  should  give  counsel ;  and  they  gave  us  much  other 

BY  WAV  OF  CHOLULA.  29 1 

Our  captain  said  to  them  that  he  thanked  the  Caciques 
for  their  good  counsel,  and  he  showed  them  much  affection, 
and  made  them  many  promises,  and  he  gave  as  presents  to 
JCicotenga  the  elder,  and  to  Mase  Escasi  and  most  of  the 
other  Caciques  a  great  part  of  the  fine  cloth  which  Monte- 
zuma had  presented,  and  told  them  that  it  would  be  a 
good  thing  to  make  peace  between  them  and  the  Mexicans, 
so  that  they  should  become  friends  and  they  could  then 
obtain  salt  and  cotton  and  other  merchandise.  Xicotenga 
replied  that  peace  was  useless,  and  that  enmity  was  deeply 
rooted  in  their  hearts,  for  such  were  the  Mexicans  that, 
under  cover  of  peace,  they  would  only  be  guilty  of  greater 
treachery,  for  they  never  told  the  truth  in  anything  that 
they  promised,  and  that  he  was  not  to  trouble  about  saying 
more  on  the  subject,  and  that  they  could  only  again  im- 
plore us  to  take  care  not  to  fall  into  the  hands  of  such  bad 

We  went  on  to  talk  about  the  road  which  we  should  take 
to  reach  Mexico,  for  the  ambassadors  from  Montezuma, 
who  remained  with  us  and  were  to  be  our  guides,  said  that 
the  most  level  and  the  best  road  was  by  the  city  of  Cholula, 
where  the  people  were  vassals  of  Montezuma  and  there  we 
should  receive  proper  attention.  To  all  of  us  this  appeared 
to  be  good  advice,  that  we  should  go  by  that  city.  When 
however  the  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala  heard  that  we  wished  to 
go  by  a  road  which  the  Mexicans  were  choosing  for  us, 
they  became  very  sorrowful,  and  begged  us  in  any  case  to 
go  by  Huexotzingo,  where  the  people  were  their  relations 
and  our  friends,  and  not  by  way  of  Cholula,  for  in  Cholula 
Montezuma  always  kept  his  double  dealings  concealed. 

For  all  that  they  talked  and  advised  us  not  to  enter  into 
that  city,  our  Captain,  (in  accordance  with  our  counsel 
which  had  been  well  talked  over,)  still  determined  to  go  by 
Cholula,  on  the  one  hand,  because  all  agreed  that  it  was  a 
large  town,  and  well  furnished  with  towers,  and  fine  and 

U  2 


tall  cues,  and  situated  on  a  beautiful  plain— and  indeed  at 
that  time  it  looked  from  a  distance  like  our  city  of  Valla- 
dolid  in  Old  Castile, — and  on  the  other  hand,  because  it 
was  almost  surrounded  by  other  considerable  towns  and 
could  provide  ample  supplies,  and  our  friends  of  Tlaxcala 
were  near  at  hand.  We  intended  to  stay  there  until  we 
could  decide  how  to  get  to  Mexico  without  having  to  fight 
for  it,  for  the  great  power  of  the  Mexicans  was  a  thing  to  be 
feared,  and  unless  God  our  Lord,  by  His  Divine  mercy 
which  always  helped  us  and  gave  us  strength,  should  first 
of  all  so  provide,  we  could  not  enter  Mexico  in  any 
other  manner. 

After  much  discussion  it  was  settled  that  we  should  take 
the  road  by  Cholula,  and  Cortes  at  once  sent  messengers 
to  ask  the  people  of  Cholula  how  it  happened  that  being 
so  near  to  us  they  had  not  come  to  visit  us,  and  pay  that 
respect  which  was  due  to  us  as  the  messengers  of  so  great 
a  prince  as  the  King  who  had  sent  us  to  the  country  to  tell 
them  of  their  salvation.  He  then  requested  all  the  Caciques 
and  priests  of  that  city  to  come  and  see  us  and  give  their 
fealty  to  our  Lord  and  King,  and  if  they  did  not  come  he 
would  look  upon  them  as  ill  disposed  towards  us.  While 
he  was  giving  this'  message  and  saying  other  things  about 
which  it  seemed  right  that  they  should  be  informed,  some- 
one came  to  tell  Cortes  that  the  great  Montezuma  had  sent 
four  Ambassadors  with  presents  of  gold,  (for  so  far  as  we 
have  seen  they  never  send  a  message  without  a  present  of 
gold  and  cloth,  as  it  is  looked  on  as  an  affront  to  send  a 
message  without  sending  a  present  with  it,)  and  what  these 
messengers  said  I  will  go  on  to  relate. 



How  the  great  Montezuma  sent  four  Chieftains  of  great  importance 
with  a  present  of  gold  and  cloth,  and  what  they  said  to  our 

While  Cortes  was  talking  to  us  all  and  to  the  Caciques  of 
Tlaxcala  about  our  departure  and  about  warfare,  they  came 
to  tell  him  that  four  Ambassadors,  all  four  chieftains  who 
were  bringing  presents,  had  arrived  in  the  town. 

Cortes  ordered  them  to  be  called,  and  when  they  came 
before  him  they  paid  the  greatest  reverence  to  him  and  to 
all  of  us  soldiers  who  were  there  with  him,  and  presented 
their  gift  of  rich  jewels  of  gold  of  many  sorts  of  workman- 
ship, well  worth  two  thousand  dollars,  and  ten  loads  of 
cloth  beautifully  embroidered  with  feathers. 

Cortes  received  them  most  graciously,  and  the  Am- 
bassadors said,  on  behalf  of  their  Lord  Montezuma,  that 
he  greatly  wondered  that  we  should  stay  so  many  days 
among  a  people  who  were  so  poor  and  so  ill  bred,  who 
were  so  wicked,  and  such  traitors  and  thieves  that  they 
were  not  fit  even  to  be  slaves,  and  that  when  either  by  day 
or  by  night  we  were  most  off  our  guard  they  would  kill  us 
in  order  to  rob  us.  That  he  begged  us  to  come  at  once 
to  his  city,  and  he  would  give  us  of  all  that  he  possessed, 
although  it  would  not  be  as  much  as  we  deserved  or  he 
would  like  to  give,  and  that  although  all  the  supplies  had 
to  be  carried  into  the  city,  he  would  provide  for  us  as  well 
as  he  was  able. 

Montezuma  did  this  so  as  to  get  us  out  of  Tlaxcala, 
for  he  knew  of  the  friendship  we  had  made,  which  I 
have  recorded  in  the  chapter  which  treats  of  that  subject, 
and  how,  to  perfect  it,  they  [the  Tlaxcalans]  had  given 
their  daughters  to  Malinche,  and  the  Mexicans  fully 
understood  that  our  confederation  could  bring  no  good 


to  them.  It  was  for  this  reason  that  they  primed  us  with 
gold  and  presents,  so  as  to  induce  us  to  go  to  their 
country  or  at  least  to  get  us  out  of  Tlaxcala. 

I  must  add  regarding  the  ambassadors,  that  the  people 
of  Tlaxcala  knew  them  well,  and  told  our  Captain  that  all 
of  them  were  lords  over  towns  and  vassals,  and  men  whom 
Montezuma  employed  to  conduct  affairs  of  the  greatest 

Cortes  thanked  the  messengers  with  many  caressing 
expressions  and  signs  of  affection,  and  gave  as  his  answer 
that  he  would  go  very  soon  to  see  their  Lord  Montezuma, 
and  he  begged  them  to  remain  a  few  days  with  us. 

At  that  time  Cortes  decided  that  two  of  our  Captains, 
men  especially  chosen,  should  go  and  see  and  speak  to  the 
great  Montezuma,  and  see  the  great  city  of  Mexico  and 
its  great  armies  and  fortresses,  and  Pedro  de  Alvarado  and 
Bcrnaldino  Vásquez  de  Tápia  had  already  set  out  on  the 
journey,  accompanied  by  some  of  the  ambassadors  of  the 
great  Montezuma  who  were  used  to  being  with  us,  and  the 
four  ambassadors  who  had  brought  the  present  remained 
with  us  as  hostages.  As  at  that  time  Cortes  had  sent  those 
gentlemen  trusting  to  good  luck,  we  dissuaded  him  from 
it,  saying  that  as  he  was  sending  them  to  Mexico  merely 
to  see  the  city^  and  its  strength,  we  did  not  think  it  well 
advised,  and  that  he  should  send  and  tell  them  not  to  pro- 
ceed any  further,  so  he  wrote  to  them  telling  them  to 
return  at  once.  Besides  this  Bernaldino  Vásquez  de  Tápia 
had  already  fallen  ill  of  fever  on  the  r  )ad,  and  as  soon  as 
they  saw  the  letters  they  returned. 

The  ambassadors  with  whom  they  were  travelling  gave 
an  account  of  their  doings  to  Montezuma,  and  he  asked 
them  what  sort  of  faces  and  general  appearance  had  these 
two  Teules  who  were  coming  to  Mexico,  and  whether  they 

^  See  note  at  end  of  chapter. 


were  Captains,  and  it  seems  that  they  replied  that  Pedro 
de  Alvarado  was  of  very  perfect  grace  both  in  face  and 
person,  that  he  looked  like  the  Sun,  and  that  he  was  a 
Captain,  and  in  addition  to  this  they  brought  with  them  a 
picture  of  him  with  his  face  "^ery  naturally  portrayed,  and 
from  that  time  forth  they  gave  him  the  name  of  Tonatio, 
which  means  the  Sun  or  the  child  of  the  Sun,  and  so  they 
called  him  ever  after.  Of  Bernaldino  Vásquez  de  Tápia, 
they  said  that  he  was  a  robust  man,  and  of  a  very  pleasant 
disposition,  and  that  he  also  was  a  captain,  and  Montezuma 
was  much  disappointed  that  they  had  turned  back  again. 
Those  ambassadors  had  reason  for  the  description  given 
to  the  Lord  Montezuma  both  as  to  features  and  general 
appearance,  for  Pedro  de  Alvarado  was  very  well  made 
and  active,  and  of  good  features  and  bearing,  and  both  in 
appearance  and  in  speech  and  in  everything  else  he  was  so 
pleasing  that  he  seemed  always  to  be  smiling.  Bernaldino 
Vásquez  de  Tápia  was  somewhat  sturdy,  but  he  had  a 
good  presence ;  when  they  returned  to  our  camp,  we  joked 
with  them  and  told  them  that  it  was  not  a  very  successful 
mission  that  Cortes  had  sent  them  on.  Let  us  leave  this 
subject,  for  it  does  not  bear  much  on  our  story,  and  I  will  tell 
about  the  messengers  whom  Cortes  sent  to  Cholula  and 
the  reply  that  they  brought 

Note. — In  the  original  MS.  the  following  passage  is  scratched  out : 
•*To  see  the  great  city  of  Mexico  and  its  great  army  and  fortresses, 
and  it  seems  to  me  that  they  were  Pedro  de  Alvarado  and  Bernaldino 
Vásquez  de  Tápia,  a^d  four  of  the  ambassadors  who  brought  the 
present  remained  as  hostages,  and  the  others  went  with  them.  As  at 
that  time  I  was  very  badly  wounded  and  was  fully  occupied  in  trying 
to  get  well  I  did  not  know  everything  that  was  going  on.  I  have 
already  written  to  Mexico  to  three  of  my  friends  who  were  present 
throughout  the  conquest  to  send  me  an  account  [of  what  took  place], 
so  that  the  matter  should  not  be  in  doubt.  If  I  do  not  repeat  here  all 
that  they  say  on  the  subject,  I  submit  myself  to  the  conquerors  for 
correction,  but  I  know  without  any  doubt  that  Bernaldino  Vásquez  de 
Tápia,  when  on  the  road  had  a  bad  fever  and  remained  at  a  town 


called  ♦  *  *  *  ,  and  that  Pedro  de  Alvarado  went  towards  Mexico 
and  turned  back  on  the  road,  and  that  it  was  then  that  those  four 
chieftains  whom  he  took  with  him  gave  him  the  name  of  Tonatio, 
which  in  the  Mexican  language  means  Sun,  and  so  they  called  him 
from  that  time  on.  They  gave  him  that  name  because  he  was  of  fine 
presence  and  active  and  of  good  features  and  bearing,  so  that  both  in 
face  and  in  speech  and  in  everything  else  he  was  so  pleasing,  that  he 
appeared  always  to  be  smiling.  I  also  know  what  I  have  stated  that 
these  said  Captains  never  arrived  at  Mexico,  for  when  they  set  out  from 
our  camp  all  the  soldiers  were  distressed  at  their  going,  and  we  said  to 
our  Captain,  *  why  send  two  such  excellent  men  when  there  is  a  chance 
that  they  may  be  killed ' ;  so  Cortes  wrote  to  them  at  once  to  return. 
I  am  not  quite  sure  about  it,  I  leave  it  to  the  judgment  of  those  who 
were  present.  Others  of  the  Conquistadores  have  told  me  that  as 
Bemaldino  Vásquez  de  Tápia  was  ill  in  one  of  the  towns,  that  the 
messengers  informed  Montezuma  of  the  fact,  and  he  sent  to  say  that 
neither  he  nor  Pedro  de  Alvarado  should  proceed  any  further,  for  if 
they  should  go  to  Mexico  there  would  not  be  a  thing  that  would  not 
be  clearly  known  to  all  the  soldiers.'' 


How  the  people  of  Cholula  sent  four  Indians  of  little  consequence 
to  make  their  excuses  for  not  having  come  to  TIaxcala,  and 
what  happened  about  it. 

I  HAVE  already  said  in  the  last  chapter  how  our  Captain 
sent  messengers  to  Cholula  to  tell  the  Caciques  of  that 
City  to  come  and  see  us  at  TIaxcala.  When  the  Caciques 
understood  what  Cortes  ordered  them  to  do,  they  thought 
that  it  would  be  sufficient  to  send  four  unimportant  Indians 
to  make  their  excuses,  and  to  say  that  because  they  were 
ill  they  had  not  come,  and  they  brought  neither  food  nor 
anything  else,  but  merely  stated  that  curt  reply.  The 
Caciques  of  TIaxcala  were  present  when  these  messengers 
arrived,  and  they  said  to  our  Captain,  that  the  people  of 
Cholula  had  sent  those  Indians  to  make  a  mock  of  him 


and  of  all  of  us,  for  they  were  only  commoners  of  no 
standing;  so  Cortes  at  once  sent  them  back  with  four 
other  Cempoala  Indians  to  tell  the  people  of  Cholula  that 
they  must  send  some  chieftains,  and  as  the  distance  w^ 
only  five  leagues  that  they  must  arrive  within  three  days, 
otherwise  he  should  look  on  them  as  rebels ;  that  when 
they  came  he  wished  to  tell  them  some  things  necessary 
for  the  salvation  of  their  souls  and  for  the  cleanliness  of 
their  well  being,  and  to  receive  them  as  friends  and  brothers 
as  he  had  received  their  neighbours  the  people  of  Tlaxcala, 
and  that  if  they  decided  otherwise  and  did  not  wish  for 
our  friendship  that  we  should  take  measures  which  would 
displease  them  and  anger  them. 

When  the  Caciques  of  Cholula  had  listened  to  that 
embassy  they  answered  that  they  were  not  coming  to 
Tlaxcala,  for  the  Tlaxcalans  were  their  enemies,  and  they 
knew  that  they  [the  Tlaxcalans]  had  said  many  evil  things 
about  them  and  about  their  Lord  Montezuma  ;  that  it  was 
for  us  to  come  to  their  city  and  to  leave  the  confines  of 
Tlaxcala,  and  that  then  if  they  did  not  do  what  they  ought 
to  do  we  could  treat  them  as  such  as  we  had  sent  to  say 
they  were. 

When  our  Captain  saw  that  the  excuse  that  they  made 
was  a  just  one  we  resolved  to  go  to  Cholula,  and  as  soon 
as  the  Caciques  of  Tlaxcala  perceived  that  we  were  deter- 
mined to  go  there,  they  said  to  Cortes,  "  So  you  wish  to 
trust  to  the  Mexicans  and  not  to  us  who  are  your  friends, 
we  have  already  told  you  many  times  that  you  must 
beware  of  the  people  of  Cholula  and  of  the  power  of 
Mexico,  and  so  that  you  can  receive  all  the  support 
possible  from  us,  we  have  got  ready  ten  thousand  warriors 
to  accompany  you."  Cortes  thanked  them  very  heartily 
for  this,  but  after  consultation  with  all  of  us  it  was  agreed 
that  it  would  not  be  advisable  to  take  so  many  warriors  to 
a  country  in  which  we  were  seeking  friends,  and  that  it 


would  be  better  to  take  only  one  thousand,  and  this  num- 
ber we  asked  of  the  Tlaxcalans  and  said  that  the  rest 
should  remain  in  their  houses.  Let  us  leave  this  discussion 
and  I  will  tell  about  our  march. 

Series  II.    Vol.  XXIII. 



From  the  original  in  the  British  Uuseum. 
Reproduced  and  printed  for  the  Hakluyt  Society  by  Donald  Bacbeth,  190», 

Plate  13. 

To  face  Page  299, 



Padre  Sahagun,  in  his  history  of  the  Conquest,  states 
that  the  first  presents  sent  by  Montezuma  to  Cortes  were 
the  ornaments  of  the  Temple  of  Quetzalcoatl.  Monte- 
zuma is  reported  to  have  said  to  his  messengers :  "  Our 
Lord  Quetzalcoatl  has  arrived,  go  and  receive  him  and 
listen  to  what  he  says  with  great  attention,  see  to  it  that 
you  do  not  forget  anything  that  he  may  say,  you  see  that 
these  jewels  that  you  are  presenting  to  him  on  my  behalf, 
are  all  the  priestly  ornaments  that  belong  to  him."  Then 
follows  a  detailed  description  of  the  ornaments  of  the  deity 
beginning  with  ''A  mask  worked  in  a  mosaic  of  turquoise ; 
this  mask  has  a  double  and  twisted  snake  worked  in  the 
same  stones  whose  fold  was  (on)  the  projection  of  the  nose, 
then  the  tail  was  parted  from  the  head  and  the  head  with 
part  of  the  body  went  above  one  of  the  eyes  so  that  it 
formed  an  eyebrow,  and  the  tail  with  a  part  of  the  body 
went  over  the  other  eye  to  form  the  other  eyebrow.  This 
mask  was  decked  with  a  great  and  lofty  crown,  full  of  rich 
feathers,  very  long  and  beautiful,  so  that  on  placing  the 
crown  on  the  head,  the  mask  was  placed  over  the  face," 
etc.  The  messengers  also  carried  for  presentation  to  Cortes 
"The  ornaments  or  finery  with  which  Tezcatlipoca  was 
decorated,"  and  "the  ornaments  and  finery  of  the  God 
called  Tlalocantecutli "  (Tlaloc).  Also  other  ornaments 
of  the  same  Quetzalcoatl,  a  mitre  of  tiger  skins,  etc. 

It  is  interesting  to  know  that  the  masks  belonging  to 
these  four  costumes  and  adornments  of  the  Gods  are  still 
in  existence,  and  that  three  of  them  can  be  seen  in  the 

30Ó  At»t»ENDl3t. 

room  devoted    to   American   Antiquities   in    the   British 

The  mask  of  Quetzalcoatl  with  the  folds  of  the  snake's 
body  forming  the  eyebrows  is  easily  identified,  and  the 
mask  with  the  eyes  of  pyrites  and  the  bands  across  the  face 
is  probably  the  mask  of  the  God  Tezcatlipoca. 

The  presents  sent  by  Cortes  to  Charles  V  were  con- 
veyed to  Spain  in  the  charge  of  Alonzo  Hernandez  Puerto- 
carrero  and  Francisco  de  Montejo,  who  sailed  from  Villa 
Rica  in  July,  1519,  and  reached  Valladolid  probably 
in  October  of  the  same  year,  where  they  awaited  the 
arrival  of  the  Emperor.  Bernal  Diaz  says  that  Charles  V 
was  in  Flanders  when  the  presents  arrived  in  Spain,  but 
this  is  not  correct ;  the  Emperor  was  in  Catalonia  and  did 
not  return  to  Valladolid  until  some  time  in  1520,  when  he 
was  on  his  way  to  Coruna,  whence  he  sailed  for  Flanders 
in  May,  1520. 

It  is,  however,  remarkable  that  these  masks  and  orna- 
ments of  the  Gods  do  not  appear  in  the  list  of  the  presents, 
signed  by  Puertocarrero  and  Montejo,  which  accompanied 
the  letter  from  the  Municipality  of  Vera  Cruz,  dated 
loth  July,  1 5 19,  nor  in  the  Manual  del  Tesorero  de  la  Casa 
de  Contratacion  de  Sevilla^  both  of  which  documents  were 
published  in  the  Documentos  íneditos  para  la  historia  de 
EspaHa,  Madrid,  1842.  A  note  to  the  former  document 
states  that  the  gifts  and  the  letter  from  the  Municipality 
were  received  by  the  King,  Don  Carlos,  in  Valladolid 
during  Holy  Week,  in  the  beginning  of  April,  1520. 

As,  however,  this  note  mentions  the  letter  from  the 
Municipality  only  {con  la  carta  y  relacion  de  suso  dicha  que 
el  concejo  de  la  Vera  Cruz  envi6\  and  makes  no  mention  of 
the  first  letter  sent  to  the  Emperor  by  Cortes  himself, which 
letter  has  never  yet  been  found,  it  is  possible  that  the 
masks  and  ornaments  of  the  Gods  were  sent  separately 
with  Cortés's  first  letter,  and  were  therefore  not  included 

Series  II.    Vol.  XXIII. 


Frofn  the  original  in  the  British  Museum. 
Reproduced  and  Printed  for  the  Hakluyt  Society  by  Donald  Macbeth,  1908, 


To  face  Page  300. 


in  the  list  of  gifts  sent  by  Cortes  in  conjunction  with 
the  Municipality. 

Las  Casas  {^Hist,  de  las  Indias,  Cap.  CXXI),  writing  about 
these  presents,  which  included  two  great  discs,  one  of  gold 
and  the  other  of  silver,  says : — "These  wheels  were  certainly 
wonderful  things  to  behold.  I  saw  them  and  all  the  rest 
(of  the  presents)  in  the  year  1520  at  ValladoHd,  on  the  day 
that  the  emperor  saw  them,  for  they  arrived  there  then  sent 
by  Cortes." 

There  is  a  tradition  that  Charles  V  presented  these  gifts 
to  the  Pope  (a  Medici)  for  the  family  Museum,  which  is 
well  known  to  have  existed,  and  of  which  the  present 
Museum  of  Natural  History  at  Florence  is  an  outcome.  If 
these  gifts  were  sent  to  Rome,  as  is  probable,  soon  after 
their  arrival  in  Spain,  they  must  have  been  sent  to  Leo  X 
(Giovanni  de  Medici),  who  died  in  1 521.  If  they  were  not 
sent  before  the  death  of  Leo  X,  it  is  not  likely  that  they 
were  sent  to  Italy  during  the  troublous  years  that  followed, 
but  they  may  have  been  taken  to  Spain  by  Cortes  him- 
self when  he  returned  in  1528  and  have  been  given  to 
Clement  VII  (Giulio  de  Medici)  when  Charles  V  was 
crowned  by  him  as  King  of  the  Romans  at  Bologna  in 

However  that  may  be,  I  have  the  authority  of  Professor 
H.  Giglioli,  the  Director  of  the  Museum  of  Natural  History 
in  Florence,  for  stating  that  nearly  all  the  known  group  of 
objects — namely,  mosaic  masks,  mosaic  decorated  knife- 
handles,  gold-plated  and  figured  atlatls  (spear  throwers), 
etc. — were  at  one  time  in  Florence.  At  the  end  of  the  six- 
teenth century,  when  Aldrovandi,  who  was  a  friend  of  the 
the  Medici,  founded  his  celebrated  Museum  at  Bologna,  he 
was  given  some  of  these  articles  from  the  Medici  Collection 
at  Florence ;  and  these,  with  the  exception  of  the  turquoise 
mosaic  mask  mentioned  below,  were  discovered  by  Pro- 
fessor L.  Pigorini  in  the  attics  of  the  Bologna  University 
and  transferred  to  the  Ethnographic  Museum  in  Rome, 


which  he  was  then  forming  and  which  now  contains 
perhaps  the  finest  collection  of  these  relics.  However,  the 
greater  number  of  them  up  to  the  years  1819-21  were 
registered  in  the  Florentine  Museum  under  the  title  of 
Maschere  e  strumenti  de popoli  barbaric  and  were  partly  sent 
thence  to  the  Officina  delle  pietre  dure  in  that  city  to 
be  broken  up  and  used  for  mosaic  work,  being  Maschere 
di  cattivi  turchesi  ! 

The  last  turquoise  mosaic  mask  (now  in  Rome)  was 
found  a  few  years  ago  by  Professor  Luigi  Pigorini  in  the 
store-room  of  the  pietre  dure  laboratory,  labelled  with  an 
inventory  value  of  two  francs  and  a  half!  As  this  mask 
shows  the  remains  of  tusk-like  teeth,  it  is  probably  the 
Mask  of  Tlaloc. 

Five  years  ago  two  magnificent  plated  atlatls^  were 
found  in  the  garret  of  a  nobleman's  palace  in  Florence, 
and  sold  by  a  dealer  to  the  Ethnographical  Museum  in 
that  city,  for  500  lire^  as  "  Indian  Sceptres";  they  were  in  a 
leathern  case,  stamped  with  the  Medici  arms.  One  of  them 
is  double-grooved,  for  throwing  two  darts  at  a  time. 

The  whole  number  of  known  examples  of  this  class 
of  Mexican  work  did  not  exceed  twenty  in  1893,  and 
of  these  eight  are  now  in  the  British  Museum.  Many  of 
them  were  bought  by  Mr.  Christy  and  Sir  Augustus 
Franks  in  Northern  Italy,  where  they  had  been  scattered 
after  the  dispersal  of  the  Medicean  Collection. 

A  full  account  of  these  interesting  objects,  by  Mr.  C.  H. 
Read,  is  given,  with  illustrations,  in  Archæologiay  vol.  liv, 
1895.  Professor  Pigorini  published,  in  1885,  a  full  account, 
with  coloured  plates,  of  the  collection  in  the  Ethnographical 
Museum  at  Rome,  in  the  Memorie  of  the  R.  Accademia 
dei  Lincei  at  Rome.  Another  interesting  paper  on  the 
subject  was  published  by  Dr.  W.  Lehmann  in  Globus 
(Band  91,  No.  21),  6th  June,  1907. 

*  Described  and  figured  in  the  American  Anthropologist  (N.S.)^ 
vol.  vii,  No.  2,  April-June,  1905 . 

Series  11.    Vol.    XXIII. 


From  the  original  in  the  British  Muaeum, 

Reproduced  and  printed  for  the  Hakluyt  Society  by  Donald  Macbeth,  1908. 

P'*<«  ^5.  To  face  Page  m. 

Series  11.    Vol.  XXllI. 

Back  view,  showing  how  it  was  worn. 

Prom  the  original  in  the  BriHeh  Muaeum. 
Reproduced  and  printed  for  the  Hakluyt  Society  by  Donald  Macbeth,  190i. 

Plate  16. 


.t   V 

Series  II.    Vol.  XXIll. 

Cartas 'liksTRvcio. 


TONELI.  jtffensr  enespana  como  cnlas%^ 
dias  oddentaks.  corikspíantasl^disaYpcíonc^ 

j^^anílínuömo  feeajgunasplacas  deairicacomo 

PacBÍmile  of  Title-þage  of 

BAUTISTA   ANTONELI:   CARTAS,   &c.,   1608. 

Reproduced^  through  the  coutieay  of  Mr.  Bernard  Quariioh, 
by  Donald  Macbeth  for  the  Hahluyt  Society,  1908. 

Plate  IP  6.  To  face  page  6 

Series  II.    Vol.  XXIII. 


cr^ani/aiU  i&u^U^ 

^^^^^ d.UuA  cu^miicaia*  ÍTus^^íjm  /HjOs/eti/f^  tJ^  éttcxunJ^ 

í/éz(£do  fcíuí  ^ri^^'r}^  %mat/£.  ccXtfih^ui  afa/^  í/^a^ 

Facsimile  of  Prefatory  leaf 

BAUTISTA   ANTONELi:   CARTAS,  &C.,   1608. 

Reproduced,  through  the  courtesy  of  Mr.  Bernard  Quariioh, 
by  Donald  Macbeth  for  the  Hahluyi  Society,  1909, 

Plate  7.  Tb  /doe  pat^  JQI- 

j>:\  ■•■■  =  ^  •  ■  • . 

r  ^    ■■>■'■■    .  ,   1 

til  (L 


r  ^ 



Series  II-   V 

I  r- 

1  1 

f/iiT/e  (^^'i>J^n 


rrri'mn  "  Í  ^ 







^^^^e abiA  ie^^'tn 

Rcþroduccd    t) 





jtg^  AcaUs  (Mex. ),  ships,  from  a  =  water  and  calli  =  a  house. 

7u  Adelantado^  govemor-in-chief. 

^ff  Alacramsy  the  name  of  a  dangerous  reef,  from  alacran,  a  scorpion. 

Alctkty  an  Indian  exclamation. 

Alcalde^  chief  magistrate  or  mayor. 

Alférery  ensign  or  standard-bearer. 

Alguacily  a  constable. 

Alguacil  Mayor y  chief  constable. 

Alguacil  del  Real,  constable  or  storekeeper. 

AmaUsy  amal  (Mex.),  paper,  letters. 

Atcdayay  a  watch-tower. 

ArrierOt  a  muleteer,  carrier. 
■  Arrobay  a  Spanish  weight  of  25  lbs. 

Atlatl  (Mex.),  a  spear-thrower  or  throwing-stick  (tiradera,  Span.). 
•  Audiencta^  a  court  of  judicature,  the  law  officers  appointed  to  hold  a  judicial 

'  inquiry. 

Barranca^  a  ravine. 

CoioOy  Cacahuatl  (Mex.),  the  fruit  of  Theobroma  Cacao.     Chocolate,  made 
from  the  cacao  fruit,  takes  its  name  from  the  Mexican  word  chocolatl. 

Cacique,  a  Cuban  word  meaning  chieftain. 

Ccuica,  the  female  form  of  the  title  Cacique. 

Calachonit  Calachone,   Calachione,   Calacheoni    or    Calachuni,  the  title  of 

chieftain  among  the  Mayas. 
CamaretOy  chamberlain. 
Cedula  (real),  Royal  letters  patent. 
Ceibdy  Bombax  ceiba,  the  silk -cotton  tree. 
CenoiCy  Tznóte,  deep  natural  wells  or  caverns  in  the  limestone  rock  whence 

the  natives  of  Yucatan  obtain  water. 
Ckalchihuite,  Chalchivies  or  Chalchihuys  (B.D.),  Chalchihuitl  (Mex.),  Jadeite, 

highly  valued  by  the  Indians  as  a  precious  stone. 
Compadrcy  godfather,  friend. 

Copaly  a  resinous  substance  burnt  for  incense,  the  gum  of  the  Rhus  copallinum. 
Cue,  a  shrine,  temple,  a  word  picked  up  by  the  Spaniards  in  the  Antilles. 

Desýobladoy  uninhabited  country. 

EnaguaSy  petticoats,  or  the  upper  skirt  of  a  woman's  dress. 


Eru<mtienda,    The  Indians,  at  first  slaves,  were  next  subjected  to  the  system  I 

of  repartimientosy  that  is,  divided  among  masters,  who  had  a  property  in 
their  labour,  not  in  their  persons;  and,  lastly,  they  were  distributed  in 
encomiendcLSy  paying  to  the  encomendero^  or  owner  of  the  district,  a  tribute 
or  produce-rent,  in  return  for  protection  (Herman  Merivale— Lectures  on 

EscopeUroSy  musketeers.  || 

FraiU  de  la  Merced^  a  friar  of  the  Order  of  Mercy.  ^ 

Hennequen^  or  sisal  hemp;  eneauen  (B.  D.),  a  spedes  of  aloe  (Agave Ixtii) ; 

the  fibre  is  now  largely  used  for  cordage. 
Hidalgo  a  gentleman  by  birth. 
Huajolotes  (Mex.),  turkeys. 

Jiquipil  (Maya),  a  body  of  warriors  eight  thousand  strong. 

LienzOt  a  painting  on  linen  or  cotton  cloth. 

Lope  luzio  (Totonac),  prince  or  great  lord.     Used  by  the  Spaniards  as  a  nick- 
name for  the  Totonac  Indians. 

Macana  or  Maquihuitl  (Mex.),  a  wooden  sword  edged  with  sharp  pieces  of 

flint  or  obsidian. 
Maesíresala^  the  chief  waiter  in  a  nobleman's  household. 
Mameiy  the  fruit  of  the  Mamie  Zapote  tree. 
Masiely  a  loin  cloth. 
MoniCy  in  Spanish  meaning  a  mountain,  a  hill  is  used  in  SfKinish  America  in 

the  way  bush  is  used  in  Australia  or  veldt  in  South  Africa, 

Nahuatatos  (Mex.),  interpreters. 

Pelota^  a  Basque  and  Spanish  ball  game. 
Penackoy  a  tuft  of  feathers,  a  plume. 
Petaca,  a  trunk  or  leather-covered  hamper. 
Petatey  a  plaited  mat ;  Petlatl  (Mex.). 
Piragua,  a  large  canoe. 
PlazOy  a  square,  market-place. 

Pueblo,  a  town  or  village,  used  especially  to  designate  a  township  or  community 
of  American  Indians. 

RegidoTy  magistrate,  prefect. 

Repartimiento.    See  Encomienda. 

Residenciay  the  examination  and  formal  account  demanded  of  a  person  holding 

public  office. 
Rubricay  the  flourish  which  forms  pari  of  the  signature  of  a  Spaniard. 

Salitralesy  salt  marshes. 

Tacal Naguas  (Mex.),  wizards,  soothsayers. 

Tamenes  (Mex.),  porters,  carriers. 

Tapiasy  mud  walls,  walls  made  of  earth  stamped  into  a  mould. 

TfUuan  (B.  D.),  Tlatoan  (Mex.),  a  chieftain. 


TeU^iguata^  a  great  lady. 

Teocalli  (Mex.),  a  temple,  usually  raised  on  a  p3rramidal  foundation. 

Tepusqucs  (B.  D.),  the  Mexican  word  for  cannon,  from  Tepusqucy  iron. 

Tianguet  or  Tianguiz  (Mex.),  a  market  or  market-place. 

Tiradera,  an  Atlatl  (Mex. )  or  spear-thrower,  throwing-stick. 

Tonaiio  (B. D.),  Tonatiuh  (Mex.),  the  sun,  or  child  of  the  sun;  the  name 

given  by  the  Mexicans  to  Pedro  de  Alvarado. 
Tortilla^  a  little  cake ;  the  thin  cake  made  from  maize,  the  staple  food  of  the 

Tuna^  the  prickly  pear,  fruit  of  the  Nopal  Cactus  {Opuntia), 

VecinOy  a  neighbour,  a  citizen. 

Veedor  (obsolete),  overseer,  official  in  charge  of  stores. 
Xexenesy  a  small  kind  of  mosquito. 

Yucay  Yuca  de  Casave,  JcUropha  Manihoty  or  Manihot  utiHssima,     d^assava 
bread  is  made  from  the  root  oijairopha  Manihot. 

PLACE  -  NAMES.    . 

Acalá,  a  province  situated  about  i8"  Lat.  N.,  91**  30'  Long.  W.     Gueacala 
or  Hueyacala,  Great  Acalá. 

AltUtUya  (B.  D.)»  (Atalaya)  from  Atalaya,  a  watch  tower. 

Azanico  or  Ajaruco.    On  the  north  coast  of  Cuba. 

Ayi^^mdiilco  (B.  D.),  Ahualolco  (O.  y  B.). 

Cempoala,  genpoal  (B.  D.}. 

Chanpoton  (Potonchan).    See  note  on  pages  21-22. 

Chichimecatede  (B.  D.},  Chichimecatecuhtli  (O.  y  B.). 

Cholula,  Cholulan. 

Coatsacoalcot,  Gua9acalco  or  Goa9agaalco  (B.  D.). 

Cotaztia,  or  Cuctlaxtla,  Cotastan  or  Cotustan  (B.D.) 

Cuauhtemoc,  Guatemuz  (B.  D.) ;  Guatemucin  (C);  Guatemoc,  successor  to 
Montezuma  and  Cuitlaliuac  as  ruler  of  Mexico. 

Cttlua,  Culoa  or  Ulua.    The  land  of  the  Mexicans. 

Estoinies  (B.  D.)  or  Otomis :  this  tribe  is  reputed  to  be  the  earliest  settled  in 
Central  Mexico. 

Huezotzing[0,  Huexo9Íngo,  Guaxo9Íngo  orGuaxal9Íngo(B.  D.),  a  district  and 
town  allied  to  Tlaxcala  ;  Guaxolo9Íngo  (B.  D.),  a  chieftain  of  Tlaxcala  (?). 

Huicfailobos  (B.  D.),  Huitzipochtli,  the  Mexican  God  of  War. 

Kukulcan  or  Cukulcan,  the  Maya  Culture  God,  the  same  as  the  Mexican  God 

Malinchi  or  Malinche,  the  name  given  to  Cortes  by  the  Mexicans,  see  p.  273. 
Montezuma  (B.  D.),  Motecuhzoma  (O.  y  B.),  Motecutzoma. 

PapaloafMU,  Papaloaba  (B.  D.). 

Pitalpitoque  (B.  D.),  Cuitlalpitoc  (O.  y  B.).  A  Mexican  chieftain  called  by 
the  Spaniards  Ovandillo. 

Potonchan  (Chanpotan).    See  note  on  pp.  21-22. 

Quetzalcoatl,  from  the  bird  Quetzal  (Trogon  respUndens)^  and  Coatl,  a 
serpent.  The  Serpent-bird  God,  the  Culture  God  of  the  Mexicans.  The 
same  as  the  Maya  God  Kukulcan. 

Quiahuitztlan,  Quiahuyztlan  (B.  D.). 


Tefaua^iigo,  Teoa^ingo,  Tehuaca9Íngo  or  Teva^ingo  (B.  D.),  Tehuatzinco. 

Tendile  (B.  D).    Teuhtlilli,  Governor  of  CueUxtla. 

Tenochtitlan,  the  City  of  Mexico  ;  Tenuztitlan  (B.  D.),  Temixtitan  (C). 

Tezcatepuca  (B.  D.),  Tezcatlipoca  or  Tetzcatlipoca,  the  Mexican  God  of 

Tlaltdolco  or  Tlatelulco.    The  northern  division  of  the  City  of  Mexico. 

Tzumpantzingo,  Q^^P^^^^^^  (^-  ^)»  ^inpancingo  (B.  D.),  Teocad9unpan- 
9Íngo  (B.  D. ),  possibly  Teoll  (God)  or  Teocalli  (Temple).  Tzumpantzingo, 
the  part  of  the  town  or  district  where  the  temples  stood. 

Ulua,  see  Culua. 

Xicotenga  (B.  D.),  Xicoténcatl. 

B.  D.  =  Bcmal  Diaz. 
O.  y.  B.  =  Orozco  y  Berra. 
C.  =  Hernando  Cortes. 

X  2 


IVM  the  British  Museum  Press-Marks, 


Anthony  k  V/ooD^—Hisioty  cf  Oj^ord 


Note. — This  Biblio^phy  does  not  pretend  to  be  exhaustive.  A  more 
complete  List  will  be  issued  with  the  nnal  Volume  of  this  Translation.  A 
Bibliography  of  the  Maps  of  Mexico  will  be  issued  with  Volume  II. 

1.  Abelin,  Johann  Philipp. — Neue  Welt  und  Amerikanische  Historien.     Alles 

aus  verschiedenen  Historien-Schreibem  .  .  .  getragen  .  .  .  durch 
J.  L.  Gottiriedt  [i.e,  Johann  Philipp  Abelin]. 

/.  T,  de  Bry:  Frankfuti  ajM,,  163 1.     foL 

[G.  6635.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. 
—1655.     566.  k.  12.] 

2.  Ag^liOy  Augustine. — Antiquities  of  Mexico.     Comprising   Fac-similes  of 

ancient  Mexican  Painting  and  Hieroglyphics,  preserved  in  the  Royal 
Libraries  of  Paris,  Berhn,  and  Dresden,  in  the  Imperial  Library  of 
Vienna,  in  the  Vatican  Library,  in  the  Borgian  Museum  at  Rome,  in 
the  Library  of  the  Institute  at  Bologna,  and  in  the  Bodleian  Library 
at  Oxford.  Together  with  The  Monuments  of  New  Spain,  by  M. 
Dupaix.  With  their  respective  scales  of  measurement  and  accom- 
panying descriptions.  The  whole  illustrated  by  many  valuable  inedited 
Manuscripts.  By  Augustine  Aglio  [and  Edward  King,  Viscount  Kings- 
borough.  J    In  seven  [or  rather  9]  volumes.     [With  pp.  1-60  of  vol.  10.] 

Published  by  A,  Aglio y  36,  Ntwman  Street;  to  be  had  also  of 
Whittaker ^Treachery  and Co,^  Ave- Maria  Lane :  [Henry  G,  Bohn  .*] 
London^  mdoccxxx-xlviii.    fol. 

[564.  h.  1-9.] 

2  a.  Vol.  I. — Copy  of  the  Collection  of  Mendoza,  preserved  in  the  Bodleian 
Library  at  Oxford.  73  Pages.  Marked  Arch.  Seld.  A.  I.  Cat.  MSS. 
Angl.  3134. 

Copy  of  the  Codex  Telleriano-Remensis,  preserved  in  >he  Royal 
Library  at  Paris.  93  Pages.  Marked  14  Reg.  161 6.  [A  copy  by 
Pedro  de  los  Rios,  a  Dommican  Monk,  of  a  Mexican  Calendar.] 

Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Hieroglyphic  Painting,  from  the 
Collection  of  Boturini.     23  Pages. 

Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Painting,  preserved  in  the  Collec- 
tion of  Sir  Thomas  Bodley,  in  the  Bodleian  Library  at  Oxford, 
^o  Pages.     Marked  Arch.  Bodl.  A.  75.  Cat.  MSS.  Angl.  2858. 

Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Painting,  preserved  in  the  Selden 
Collection  of  MSS.  in  the  Bodleian  Library  at  Oxford.  20  Pages. 
Marked  Arch.  Seld.  A.  2.  Cat.  MSS.  Angl.  3135. 

Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Hieroglyphic  Painting,  preserved 
amongst  the  Selden  Collection  in  the  Bodleian  Library  at  Oxford.     A 
Roll,  marked  Arch.  Seld.  A.  Rot.  3.  Cat.  MSS.  Angl.  3207. 
1830.    fol. 

[564.  h.  I.] 


2  b.  Vol.  2.  Copy  of  a  Mexican  MS.  preserved  in  the  Library  of  the 
Vatican.     149  Pages.     Marked  No.  3738. 

Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Painting  given  to  the  University 
of  Oxford  by  Archbishop  Land,  and  preserved  in  the  Bodleian  Library. 
46  Pages.     Marked  Laud  B.  65.  nunc  678  Cat.  MSS.  Angl.  546. 

Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Painting  preserved  in  the  Library 
of  the  Institute  at  Bologna.     24  Pages. 

Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Painting  preserved  in  the  Imperial 
Library  at  Vieima.    66  Pages. 

Fac-similes  of  Original  Mexican  Paintings  deposited  in  the  Royal 
Library  at  Berlin  bv  the  Baron  de  Humboldt,  and  of  a  Mexican  Bias- 
Relief  preserved  in  the  Royal  Cabinet  of  Antkjues. 

1830.     fol. 

[564.  h.  2.] 

2  c.  Vol.  3.  Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Painting  preserved  in  the 
Borgian  Museum,  at  the  College  of  Propaganda  in  Rome.     76  Pages. 

Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Painting  preserved  in  the  Royal 
Library  at  Dresden.     74  Pages. 

Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Painting  in  the  possession  of  M.  de 
Fejérváry,  at  Pess  in  Hungary.     44  Pages. 

Fac-simile  of  an  Original  Mexican  Painting  preserved  in  the  Library 
of  the  Vatican.     96  Pages. 

1830.     fol. 

[564.  h.  3.] 

2  d.  Vol.  4.  Monuments  of  New  Spain,  by  M.  Dupaix,  from  the  original 
drawings  executed  by  order  of  the  King  of  Spain.     In  three  parts. 

Specimens  of  Mexican  Sculpture,  in  the  possession  of  M.  Latour 
Allard,  in  Paris. 

Specimens  of  Mexican  Sculpture  preserved  in  the  British  Museum. 

Plates  copied  from  the  Giro  del  Mondo  of  Gemelli  CarerL  With 
an  engraving  of  a  Mexican  Cycle,  from  a  Painting  formerly  in  the 
possession  of  Boturini. 

Specimen  of  Peruvian  Quipus,  with  Plates  representing  a  carved 
Peruvian  Box  containing  a  collection  of  supposed  Peruvian  Quipus. 

1830.    foL 

[564.  h.  4.] 

2  e.   Vol.  5.  Extrait  de  I'Ouvrage  de  M.  de  Humboldt  sur  les  Monumens  de 
I'Amerique.     pp.  1-36 
Explicacion  de  la  Coleccion  de  Mendoza.     pp.  37- 126. 
Explicacion  del  Codex  Telleriano-Remensis,     pp.  127-158 
Codice   Mexicano,   che  si  conserva  nella  BibUoteca    Vaticana,  al 
No.  3738.     MS.     pp.  159-206. 

Viages  de  Guillelmo  Dupaix  sobre  las  Antigtiedades  Mejieanas. 
pp.  207.343. 

Libro  Sexto  de  la  Retorica  y  Filosofia,  Moral  y  Teologia  de  la  Gente 
Mexicana,  donde  hay  cosas  muy  curiosas  tocantes  a  los  primores  de  su 
lengua,  y  cosas  muy  deUcadas  tocante  a  las  virtudes  morales.  Por 
el  M.  R.  P.  Frayle  Bernardino  de  Sahagun,  de  la  Orden  de  los  Frayles 
Menores  de  la  Observancia.    (Indice.)    pp>  345-493* 

1830.     fol. 

[564.  h.  5.] 


a  f.  Vol.  6.  The  Interpretation  of  the  Hieroglyphical  Paintings  of  the  Collec- 
tion of  Mendoza.    pp.  3-94. 

The  Explanation  of  the  Hieroglyphical  Paintings  of  the  Codex  Tel- 
leriano-Remensis.  [An  Original  Mexican  Calendar,  painted  on  paper 
of  the  Agave,  resembling  this  Codex,  is  preserved  in  tne  Library  of  the 
Chamber  of  Deputies,  at  Paris.]    pp.   95-153. 

The  Translation  of  the  Explanation  of  the  Mexican  Paintings  of  the 
Codex  Vaticanus.    No.  3738.    pp.  155-420. 

The  Monuments  of  New  Spain,  by  M.  Dupaix.  [English  Translation.] 
pp.  421-540. 

1830.     fol. 

[564.  h.  6.] 

2  g.  Vol.  7.  Historia  Universal  de  las  Cosas  de  Nueva  Espafia.  Por  el 
M.  R.  P.  Fr.  Bernardino  de  Sahagun,  de  la  Orden  de  los  Frayles 
Menores  de  la  Observanda.    pp.  vii.  1-464. 

1830.     fol. 

[564.  h.  7.] 

2  h.  Vol.  8.  Supplementary  Notes  to  the  Antiquities  of  Mexico.  [Continuation 
of  Notes  at  end  of  vol  6.]    pp.  1-268. 

Supplementary  Extracts  from  Spanish  Authors.  De  la  Monarquia 
Indiana  de  Torquemada,  Acosta,  Historia  Natural,  Garcia,  sobre  el 
Origen  de  los  Indios.    pp.  1-89. 

Sermam  do  Auto  da  Fé.  Que  se  celebrou  na  Pra9a  do  Rodo  desta 
Cidade  de  Lisboa,  junto  dos  passos  da  InquisÍ9am,  em  6  de  Setembro 
de  1705,  em  presenca  de  suas  Altezas.  Pregado  pelo  Illustrissimo  e 
Reverendissimo  Sennor  Dom  Diogo  da  Annuncia9am  Justiniano,  do 
Conselho  de  Sua  Magestade,  que  Deos  guarde,  e  Arcebispo  que  foy  de 
Cranganor.  Lisboa :  Na  officitta  de  Antonio  Pedro  Ozogalr&o,  6  Setem- 
bro, 1705.     pp.  91 -1 15. 

ResDuesta  al  Sermon  predicado  por  el  Ar^obispo  de  Cranganor  en  el 
Auto  oa  Fe,  celebrado  en  Lisboa^  en  6  Septiembre,  Afio  de  1705.  Por 
el  Author  de  las  Noticias  Reconditas  de  la  Inquizidon,  Obra  Posthuma. 

Impressoen  Villa- Francay  por  Carlos  Vero^  h  la  Insignia  de  la  Verdad. 
pp.  117-157. 

Historia  del  Origen  de  las  Gentes  que  poblaron  la  America  Septen- 
trional, que  llaman  la  Nueva-EspaAa.  Con  notida  de  los  primeros  que 
establecieron  la  Monarquia  que  en  ella  íloredó  de  la  nacion  Tolteca,  y 
noticias  que  alcanzaron  de  la  Creadon  del  Mundo.  Su  autor  el 
Licendado  Don  Mariano  Fernandez  de  Echevarria  y  Veitia,  Caballero 
Profeso  del  Orden  Militar  de  Santiago,     pp.  159-217. 

Terceia  (Cuarta)  Noticia  de  la  Segunda  Parte  de  las  Noticias  His- 
toriales  de  las  Conquistas  de  Tierra  Firme  en  el  Nuevo  Reyno  de 
Granada,  por  Fr.  Pedro  Simon,  ofredda  á  Nuestro  Invictisimo  Cesar 
Filipo  IV.  en  el  Real  Consejo  de  Indias,  Afio  1624.  [Publi^ed  for  the 
first  time,  and  copied  from  the  MS.  of  the  Author.]    pp.  219-271. 

History  of  the  North  American  Indians,  their  Customs,  &c.  By 
James  Adair.    [1775.]    pp.  273-400. 

[CtncoJ  Cartas  Ineditas  de  Hernando  Cortes.  Escritas  á  S.  M.  desde 
15  de  Mayo  de  1522  hasta  10  de  Octubre  de  1530  ...  Y  al  fin  un 
Memorial  que  presentó  á  S.  M.  en  Valladolid  á  3  de  Febrero  de  1544, 
&c.     pp.  401-424. 

1848.    fol. 
[564.  h.  8.] 


8  i.    Vol.  9.  Cronica  Mexicana  de  Fernando  de  Alvarado  Tezozomoc  (Adver- 
tencia  del  Padre  Francisco   Garcia  Figueroa.)    pp.    I -196.    llistorbi 
Cbichimeca.    Por  Don  Fernando  de  Alva  IxtUlzochitL  pp.  197-468. 
1848.    fol. 
[564.  h.  9.] 

2  j.  Vol.  10.  Ritos  Antiguos,  Sacrifidos  é  Idolatrias  de  los  Indios  de  la  Nuera 
Espafla  y  de  sa  conversion  á  la  Fee  y  quienes  fiteron  los  que  primero  la 
priMlicaron.  (Epistola  Proemial  de  an  Frayle  Menor  al  Ilustrisimo 
Sefior  Don  Antonio  Pimentel,  sexto  Conde  de  Benavente.)  pp.  1-60. 
[On  page  60  of  vol.  10  :  '*  End  of  vol.  ix.,  which  concludes  the  work."] 
1848.  fol. 
[564.  h.  9.] 

3.  Alcedo,  Antonio  de.-^Diccionario  geográfico-históríco  de  las  Indtas  Ocd- 
dentales  ó  America :   es  á  saibet ;    de  los  Reynos  del   Peru,   Nueva 
Espafla,  Tieria-Firme,  Chile,  y  Nuevo  Reyno  de  Granada .  .  .  Escrito 
por  el  Coronel  D.  Antonio  de  Alcedo,  etc,     3  vols. 
Bmiio  Cam:  Madrid^  1786-88.    8**. 

[978.  i.  19-2 1.  From  the  Library  of  Sir  Joseph  Banks.— K.  279.  i. 
15-19.  From  the  Library  of  King  George  III. — G.  2975-9.  From 
the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.] 

4.  . — The  Geographical  and  Historical  Dictionary  of  America  and  the 

West  Indies.  Containing  an  entire  Translation  of  the  Spanish  Work  of 
Colonel  Don  Antonio  de  Alcedo,  Captain  of  the  Roval  Spanish  Guards, 
and  Member  of  the  Royal  Academy  of  Hlstoiy.  With  laige  Additions 
and  Compilations  from  Modem  Voyages  and  Travels,  and  Irom  original 
and  authentic  information.  By  G.  A.  Thompson,  Esq.  In  Five 

Printed  for  [anus  Carpenter y  Old  Bond-Strut ;  Longman^  Hursts 
Rees,  Orme,  and  Brown,  Fatemoster-How  ;  White,  Cochrane  and 
Co.f  and  Murray,  Fkit-Street,  London;  Parkor,  Oxford;  and 
Doighton,  Cambridge,  181 2- 181 5.    4^ 

[797.  i.  30.->K.  146.  d.  15-19.    From  the  Library  of  King  George  III.] 

4a.  . — Atlas  to  Thompson's  Alcedo,  or  Dictionary  of  America  and 

West  Indies.    Collated  with  all  the  most  recent  authorities,  and  com- 
posed chiefly  from  scarce  and  original  documents  for  that  work,  by 
A.    Arrowsmith,   Hydrographer  to  His  Royal  Highness  the  Prince 
Regent.     5  Maps. 
Printed  by  George  Smeeton :  London,  1819.     fol. 
[Maps  92.   f.    19.— K.   12.  Tab.  45.     From  the  Library  of  King 
George  HI.— G.  2980-82.     Without  Title.     From  the  Library  of 
the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.] 

5.  Aldroyandi,  Ulisse. — Ulyssis  Aldrovandi,  Patricii  Bononiensb,  Musaeum 

Metdlicum  in  Libros  nil.  distributum  Bartholomæus  Ambrosinus 
Lahore  et  Studio  composuit  cum  Indice  copiosissimo.  Marcus  Antonius 
Bemia  propriis  impensis  in  lucem  edidit.  Ad  Serenissimum  Rantium  II 
Famesium  Parmœ  Placentiæ,  etc,  Ducem  VI.  (Vol.  xii.  Opera 
Aldrovandi.)    pp.  979. 

Typis  lo.  Baptist  a  Ferronij:  Bononia,  1648.     fol. 

[K.  38.  g.  12.  From  the  Library  of  King  George  III,— 459.  b.  7. 
From  the  Library  of  Sir  Joseph  Banks,  with  his  Book-plate.] 



6.  Alfaro  de  Santa  CruZ|  Melchior. — Relación  de  Melchor  de  Alfaro  Sant 

Cruz,  1579.  (Relaciones  Históríco-Ge<^ráficas  de  las  Provincias  de 
Yucatan.  Tabasco-Relaciones  de  Yucatin.  [Edited  by  Jose  Maria 
Asensio  y  Toledo.]  Tom.  i.  pp.  318-341.-111  "Colección  de  Docu- 
mentos  Inéditos  relativos  al  Descubrimiento,  Conquista  y  Organizadon 
de  las  Antiguas  Posesiones  Espafiolas  de  Ultiamar.  Segunda  Serie, 
publicada  por  la  Real  Academia  de  la  Historia.     Tomo  num.  11.'') 

EstabUdmiento    Tipográfico^    Sucesores   de    Rhfademyra:    Madrid^ 
1898.    8". 

[9551.  g-] 

7.  Alva  Iztlilxochitl,  Fernando  d'.— Cniautés  Horribles  des  Conquérants  du 

Mexique,  et  des  Indiens  aui  les  aidérent  á  soumettre  cet  Empire  á  la 
couronne  d'Espayne.  Mémoire  de  Don  Fernando  d'Alva  Ixtlilxochitl. 
Supplémen  tá  l^Histoire  du  Pére  Sahagun.  Publié  et  dédié  au  eouveme- 
ment  supreme  de  la  confederation  mexicaine,  por  Charles  -  Marie  de 
Bustamante.  Mexico:  de  rimprimerie  du  citoyen  Alexandre  Valdis. 
[Translated  by  Henri  Temaux-Compans.]  (In  <*  Voyages,  Relations 
et  Mémoires  Originaux  pour  servir  á  THistoire  de  la  Décourerte  de 
l'Amérique.  Publiés  pour  la  premiere  fois  en  franfais  par  H.  Temaux- 
Compans."  tom.  8.    pp.  312,) 

Arthus  Btrtrand:  Paris,  mdcccxxxvih.     8^, 

[G.  1 58 10.     From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. 
— H96.  i.  6.] 

8.  .•— Histoire  des  Chichiméques,   ou  des  anciens  Rois  de  Tezcuco. 

Par  Don  Fernando  d'Alva  Ixtlilxochitl.  Traduite  sur  le  manuscrit 
espagnol  .  .  .  Inédite.  2 pts.  (In  ''Voyages,  Relations,  et  Mémoires 
Originaux  pour  servir  á  1  Histoire  de  la  Découverte  de  l'Amérique, 
publiés  pour  la  prenúére  fois  en  Fran9ais,  par  H.  Ternaux-Compans." 
Tom.  12,  13.) 

Arthus  Bertrand:  Paris,  MDCCCXL.     8*. 

[G.  15814-5.   From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. 
-1196.  i.  7,  8.] 

9.  . — Orribili  Crudelta  dei  Conquistatori  del  Messico  e  degP  Indiani 

che  gli  Aiutarono  a  sottomettere  questo  Impero  alia  Corona  di  Spagna. 
Memoria  di  Don  Fernando  d'Alva  Cortes  Ixtlilxochitl.  Pubhcata  e 
dedicata  al  Govemo  Supremo  della  Confederazione  Messicana  da  Carlo 
Maria  de  Bustamante.  Versione  di  Felice  Scifoni.  (In  '*  Raccolta  di 
Viaggi  dalla  Scoperta  del  Nuovo  Continente  fino  á  di  nostri.  CompUata 
daFTC.  Marmocchi,"    tom.  11.    ppw  275-436.) 

Fraielli  Giachetti :  Prato,  1843.     8^ 

[1424.  i.  5-] 

I  a  Alvarado,  Pedro  de.—Di  Pietro  d'Alvarado  a  Fernando  Cortese.  Lettere 
di  Pietro  d'Alvarado,  nelle  quali  racconta  le  guerre  &  battaglie  fette 
nell'  acquisto  di  Ciapotulan,  Checialtenego  &  Vilatan,  &  de  pericoli  ne 
quale  incorse  come  tece  abbrudar  li  Signori  di  Vilatan,  &  panmente  essa 
dttá  &  constitui  Signori  i  lor  figliuoli :  di  due  montagne,_una  d'allumi, 
Taltra  di  zolfo.    Di  Vilaianagliundit' 

I  undiii d'Aprile,    (In  "  Terzo  Volume 


delle  Navigatíoni  et  Viaggi  Raccolto  gia  da  M.  Gio.  Battista  Ramusio.  *^ 
fol.  296-2^.) 
In  Venetia :  nella  Stamperia  de*  Giunii,  PAnno  mdlxv.     fol. 
[G.  6820. — From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. — 
679.  h.   10.     From    the  Library  of  the  Rev.  Clayton  Mordaunt 
Cracherode.     With  the  arms  and  cyphers  of  Jacques  Auguste  de 
Thou,  and  his  first  wife,  Marie  Barban9on.] 

-Altra  Relation  fatta  per  Pietro  d'Alvarado  a  Fernando  Cortese- 

Nella  quale  si  contiene  Tacquisto  di  molte  cittá  &  provincie,  le  gnerre* 
scaramuccie,  &  battaglie,  tradimenti  &  ribellioni  che  vi  sono  seenite, 
com'  egli  edificö  una  cittá,  di  due  montagne,  una  che  getu  fiioco,  raltia 
che  eshala  fumo,  d'un  fiume  che  arde  tutto,  &  d'un  altro  freddo  &  come 
TAlrarado  d'una  saetta  rimase  storpiato.     Di  questa  cittá  di  StuW  la^o 
a  ventiotto  (H  Luglic,  1524-     (In  "Terzo  Volume  delle  NaTÍgaLioni  el 
Viaggi.     Raccolto  gia  da  M.  Gio  Battista  Ramusio."    foL  298-3oa) 
In  Venetia :  nella  Stamperia  di  Giuntiy  VAnno  mdlxv.    fol. 
[G.  6820.    From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.— 
679.  h.   10.      From  the  Library  of  the  Rev.  Clayton  Mordaunt 
Cracherode.     With  the  arms  and  cyphers  of  Jacques  Auguste  de 
Thou,  and  his  first  wife,  Marie  Barbanfon.] 

12.  .— Atra  Rclacion  hecha  por  Pedro  de  Alvarado  a  Hernando  Cortes, 

en  cjue  se  refiere  la  Conqulsta  de  muchas  Ciudades,  las  Guerras,  Batallas, 
Traiciones,  i  Rebeliones,  que  sucedieron,  i  la  Pobladon  que  hÍ9o  de  una 
Ciudad.  De  dos  Volcanes :  uno,  que  exalaba  Fuego,  i  otro  Hume, 
de  un  Rio  hirviendo,  i  otro  frio,  i  como  quedo  Alvarado  herido  de  un 
Flecha^o.  (In  **  Historiadores  Primitivos  de  las  Indias  Occidentales, 
que  junto,  traduzo  en  parte,  y  sacó  á  luz,  ilustrados  con  eruditas  Notas, 

-  y  copiosos  Indices,  el  ilustrisimo  Sefior  D.  Andres  Gonzalez  Barda,  del 
Consejo,  y  (Samara  de  S.  M.  Divididos  en  tres  Tomos,  cuyo  contenido 
se  vera  en  el  folio  siguiente."    Tom.  i.     Part  2.     pp.  161- 166.) 

Madrid^  aHo  mdccxlix.     fol. 

[K.  145.  f.  9.     From  the  Library  of  King  George  III.] 

13.  .— Lettres  de  Pedro  de  Alvarado  á  Femand  Cortes.     (Seconde 

Lettre.  Santiago,  le  28  de  juillet,  1524.  In  **  Voyages,  Relations  et 
Mémoires  Originaux  pour  servir  a  rHistoire  de  la  Découverte  de 
I'Amerique.  Publiés  pour  la  premiere  fois  en  Fran^ais  par  H.  Temaux- 
Com  pans. — Tom.  x.  Recueil  de  Pieces  relatives  á  la  Conquéte  du 
Mexique.     Inédit.     pp.  107-150.) 

Arthus  Bertrand:  Paris,  MDCCCXXXVIII.     8^ 
[G.  1 58 1 2.     From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. 
—1 196.  i.  7.] 

14.  Alvarado  Tezozomoc,  Fernando  de. — Histoire  du  Mexique.     Par  Don 

Alvaro  Tezozomoc  Traduite  sur  un  manuscrit  inédit  par  H.  Temaux- 
C!x)mpans.     2  torn. 

ChezP.Jannet:  Paris,  1853.     8°. 

[9771.  d.  21.] 

15.  .— Cronica  Mexicana.  Escrita  por  D.  Hernando  Alvarado  Tezozo- 
moc, hácia  el  afto  de  mdxcviii,  anotada  por  el  Sr.  Lie.  D.  Manuel 
Orozco  y  Berra,  y  precedida  del  Codice  Ramirez,  Manuscrito  del  siglo 
XVI  intitulado :  Relacion  del  origen  de  los  Indios  que  habitan  esta 
Nueva  Espafia  segun  sus  historiaa,  y  de  un  examen  de  ambas  obras,  al 
cual  va  anexo  un  estudio  de  Cronologia  Mexicana  por  el  mismo  Sr. 


Orozco  y  Bern.  Jose  M.  Vigil,  Editor.  [With  a  preface  by  Jose  F. 
Ramirez,  and  1 1  Plates  of  drawings  of  Indians.]  (Biblioteca  Mexicana. ) 
pp.  viii.  712. 

Imprentay  Litografia  de  Ireneo  Paz :  Mexico^  1878-81.     8*. 

[9771.  g-  3] 

16.  Alzate  7  Ramirez,  Joseph  Antonio  de.— Observadones  Meteorologicas 

de  los  ultimos  nueve  meses  de  el  afio  de  mil  setedentos  sesenta  y  nueve. 
Hechas  en  esta  Ciudad  de  Mexico.    Por  D.  Joseph  Antonio  de  Alzate  y 
Ramirez,     pp.  14. 
/myressas  con  las  licencias  necessarias  en  Mexico :  en  la  Imprenta  del 
Lie,   Ð,  Joseph  de  Jaureguiy  en  la  Calle  de  S,  Bernardo,  AHo 
de  177a     4*. 
[8755.  bbb.  36.] 

17.  AmandttS,  of  Zieriksee. — Chronica  Compendiosissiina  ab  exordio  mundi 

usq'  ad  annum  Domini  millesimum,  qmngentesimu,  trigesimu  quartum  : 
per  venerandum  patrem,  F.  Amandum  Zierixeensem,  ordinis  Fratrum 
Minoru,  regularis  observantiœ,  virum  en  Divinis  &  humanis  rebus  peri- 
tissimum  .  .  .  Adjectæ  sunt  .  .  .  Aliæ  quoq'  tres  epistolœ,  ex  nova 
maris  Oceani  Hispania  ad  nos  transmissœ,  de  fructu  mirabili  illic  sur- 
gentis  novœ  Ecclesiœ,  ex  quibus  animus  Christianus  merito  debeeit 

Antverpia :  apud  Simonem  Cocum,  Anno  Domini,  mcccccxxxit, 
Mense  Maio,     12**. 

[9006.  a.  24.  Letters  from  Martinus  de  Valentia,  and  Petrus  de 
Gante,  alias  de  Mura.] 

18.  All^llie^^   Pietro  Martin  d*.— The  History  of  Travayle   in    the  West 

and  East  Indies,  and  other  countre3rs  Ipng  eyther  way,  towardes  the 
fruitfull  and  ryche  Moluccaes.  As  Moscouia,  Persia,  Arabia,  Syria, 
Ægypte,  Ethiopia,  Guinea,  China  in  Cathayo,  and  Giapan.  With  a 
discourse  of  the  Northwest  passage.  Gathered  in  parte,  and  done  into 
Englyshe  [from  Pietro  Martire  d'Anghiera,  and  others]  by  Richarde 
Eden.  Newly  set  in  order,  augmented,  and  finished  by  Richard  Willes. 
(An  Abridgement  of  P.  Martyr  his  5,  6,  7  and  8  Decades,  and  particu- 
lerly  of  Ferd.  Cortesius  conquest  of  Mexico.  By  R.  W.  \i.e»,  Richard 
Willes.])  [Dedicated  to  the  Lady  Brigit,  Countesse  of  Bedforde.] 
fr.  466. 
Imprinted  at  London  by  Richarde  luggt,  1577.  4°. 
[K.  304.  d.  10.     From  the  Library  of  King  George  III. — G.  7305. 

From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  GrenTÍlle.  —979.  c.  28. 

From  the  Library  of  Sir  Joseph  Banks.     Wants  Title-page,  and 

8  pages  of  preliminary  matter.] 

19.  Anonymous  Conqueror. —Relacion  Anonyma  de  la  Conquista  de  la 

Nueva  Espafia. — In  '^Colecdón  de  Documentos  para  la  Historia  de 
Mexico.     Publicada  por  Joaquin  Garcia  Icazbalceta.     Tom.  I. 

/.  M,  Andrade:  Mexico,  1858.     8*. 

[9771.  f.  15.] 

20.  Armin,  Theodor.— Das  alte  Mexico  und  die  Eroberung  Neuspaniens 

durch  Ferdinand  Cortez.  Nach  W.  Prescott  und  Bernal  Diaz,  sowie 
unter  Benutzunp  der  Schriften  von  Alexander  von  Humboldt,  des  Abbe 
Brasseur,  des  Abt  Fr.  X.  Clavigero  u.  A.  Bearbeitet  von  Th.  Amim. 
Mit  Uber  120  in  den  Text  gedruckten  Abbildungen,  sechs  Tonbildem, 
einem  Frontispice,  sowie  einer  Karte  von  Anahuac.     pp.  xiv.  376. 

Verlagvon  Otto  Spamer:  Leipzig,  1865.     8*. 

[9771.  eee.  2.] 


31.  Atiuiiaaiiit,  Inca^  of  Ciun^.—- West-Indische  Spieghel.  Waer  inne  men 
sien  kan  alle  de  Eyianden,  Provintien,  Lantsch&ppen,  het  Machtige  Ryck 
van  Mexico,  en  't  Gout  en  Silver-rycke  Landt  van  Pero.  'Tsampt  de 
Coursen,  Havenen,  Klippen,  Koopmanschappen,  etc,^  soo  wel  inde 
Noort  ais  in  de  Zayt-zee.  Als  mede  hoe  die  vande  Spanjaerden  eerst 
ge  invadeert  syn.  Door  Athanasiam  Inga,  Peruaen.,  van  Cusco. 
PP-  435- 

V  Amstilredam :  By  Broer  Janst,  ttuU  Jacob  PUtersty  Wackier^ 
Boeckvercooper  op  den  Dam  in  de  ÍVackter^  Anno  1624.     á^, 

[G.  7158.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. 
With  a  fine  engraved  Title-page,  giving  a  portrait  of  Motenchama, 
etcy  and  3  Maps,  and  .6  Illustrations. — 10408.  d.  ii. — Another 
copy  is  in  the  Jonn  Carter  Brown  Library.] 

23.  Bandelier,  Adolph  Francis  Alphonse. —Notes  on  the  Bibliography  of 
Yucatan  and  Central  America.  Comprising  Yucatan,  Chiapas,  Guate- 
mala (the  Ruins  of  Palenque,  Ocosingo,  and  Copan),  and  Oazaca 
(Ruins  of  Mitla).  A  List  of  some  of  the  writers  on  this  subject  from  the 
Sixteenth  Century  to  the  present  time.  By  Ad.  F.  Bandelier.  From 
Proceedings  of  the  American  Antiquarian  Society,  October  21,  1880. 
(New  Series.   Vol.  i.   pp.  82-118.) 

Press  of  Chas.  Hamilton:  Worcester,  \Afass.'\  1881.     8^ 

[Ac  5798/2.] 

23.  .—Report  of  an  Archaeological  Tour  in  Mexico  in  1 88 1.    By  A.  F 

Bandelier.  (Papers  of  the  Archaeological  Institute  of  America.  American 
Series.  11).    Second  edition,    pp.  x.  326. 

Published  for  the  Institute  by  Cupples,  Upham  and  Co,  :    Boston^ 

[Afass,'\  ;  N,  TVubner  and  Co. :  London,  1885.     8^ 
[Ac.  5790/8.] 

24.  Batres,  Leopoldo. — Arqueologia  Mexicana.    Civilizacion  de  algunas  de 

las  diferentes  tirbus  que  habitarion  el  territorio  hoy  Mexicano  en  la 
antiguedad.   pp.  100.   5  Chromos.   t^  Plates. 

Mexicoy  1888.     8". 

[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

25.  . — Clasificadon  del  tipo  etnico  de  las  tribus  sapoteca  del  estado  de 

Oaxaca  y  Acolhna  del  Valle  de  Mexico,    pp.  8.   2  Plates. 

Méxicoy  189a    8'. 

[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

26.  Beaufoy,  Mark. — Mexican  Illustrations,  founded  upon  facts,  indicative  of 

the  present  condition  of  Society,  Manners,  Religion,  and  Morals  among 
the  Spanish  and  Native  Inhabitants  of  Mexico.  With  observations  upon 
the  Government  and  resources  of  the  Republic  of  Mexico,  as  they 
appeared  during  part  of  the  years  1825,  1826,  and  1827.  Interspersed 
with  occasional  remarks  upon  the  climate,  produce,  and  antiquities  of 
the  country,  mode  of  worlung  the  mines,  &c.  By  Mark  Beaufoy,  bte 
of  the  Coldstream  Guards.     Illustrated,     pp.  xii.  312. 

Carpenter  and  Son :  London ,  1828.     8^. 

[792.  e.  16.— 10410.  d.  26.  (2.)] 


27.  Berendty  Carl  Hermann,  ^.  A— Report  of  Explorations  in  Central 
America.  By  Dr.  C.  H.  Berendt.  [Dated  :  New  York,  December  24, 
1867.]  (In  the  22nd  Annual  Report  of  the  Board  of  Regents  of  the 
Smithsonian  Institution,     1S67.     pp.  420-426.] 

Government  Printing  Office :  fVashington,  itiéS,     8°. 

[R.  Ac.    1875/3.] 

28.  .  —.Analytical  Alphabet  for  the  Mexican  &  Central  American  Lan- 
guages. By  C.  Hermann  Berendt,  M.D.  Published  by  the  American 
Ethnological  Society.  [With  a  Biographical  Note  on  Dr.  C.  H.  Berendt, 
and  on  fis  Maya  Dictionary.]    pp.  iv.  8. 

Reproduced  in  Fac-simUe  by  the  American  Photo- Lithographic  Com- 
pany {Osborne s  Process) :  New  York,  1869.     8*. 
[12907.  dd.  S.] 

29.  — , — A  Dictionary  of  the  Maya   Language.     With  a  comparative 

review  of  all  the  Indian  Languages  spoken  oetween  the  Isthmuses  of 
Tehuantepec  and  Honduras,  embracing  more  than  600  words  in  each, 
which  comprises  all  the  Languages  l^longing  to  the  Maya  Family. 
2500  quarto  pages.    MS.    1869.     4*. 

[Described  in  his  "Analytical  Alphabet"     1869.    p.  iv. 

30.  . — Los  E^scritos  de  D.  Joaquin  Gardá  Icazbalceta.     \Revista  de 

Mérida,    Tom.  ii.) 

Méridade  Yacatan,  187a 
[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

31.  -. — Cartilla  en  Lengua  Maya  paxa  la  enseOanza  de  los  nifios  indi- 

Mirida,  1871.     8* 

[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

32.    . — El  Ramie.    Tratado  sobre  el  cultivo  y  algunas  noticias  de  esta 

planta.     {Revisia  de  Mérida,) 

Mérida  de  Yucatan,  1 87 1. 

[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

33. .—Mexico.    [Dr.  C.  H.  Berendt  compiled  the  article :  Mexico,  in :] 

Deutsch-amerikanisches  Conversations- Lexicon  .  .  .  Bearbeited  von 
Prof.  Alexander  J.  Schem.     Band  7.     pp.  261-288.     • 

E.  S.  Aeiger:  New  York,  1872.    8^ 

[735.  c.  7.] 

34.  , — Die  Indianer  des  Isthmus  von  Tehuantepec.     [Zeitschri^  fur 

Ethnologie,     Band  5.) 

Berliny  1873.     8*. 

[P.  P.  3863.  b.] 

35.  . — ^Zur  Ethnologic  von  Nicaragua.     (In  Correspondent- Blatt  der 

deutschen  Gesellsche^  fUr  Anthropologie,  Ethnclogie,  und  C/rgeschichte, 
Redigirt  von  Dr.  A.  v.  Frantzius  in  Heidelberg.  No.  9.  September, 
1874.     pp.  70-72.) 

Friedrich  Vieweg  undSohn :  Braunschweig,  1875.     4^ 
[P.  P.  3947.  d.] 



36.  .—Remarks  on  the  Centres  of  Ancient  Civilization   in    Central 

America,  and  their  Geographical  Distribution.    Address  read  before  the 
American  Geographical  Society.    July  10,  1876.     With  a  Map. 

New  York,  1876.     8\ 

[Not  in  the  British  Museam.] 

37.   . — Remarks  on  the  Centres  of  Ancient   Civilisation  in  Central 

America,  &c     By  C.  H.  Berendt,  M.D.      (In  Feiermamt*s  Mittkei' 
lungen,  1877.     p.  82.) 

Justus  Perthes:  Gotha,  1877.    4*. 
[R.  P.  P.  3946.] 

38.  , — Collections  of  Historical  Documents  in  Guatemala.      By   Dr. 

C.  H.  Berendt.  (In  the  31st  Annual  Report  of  the  Board  of  Regents 
of  the  Smithsonian  Institution,     1876.     pp.  421-423.) 

Government  Printit^ Office:  IVashinjgton,  1S77.    8^ 

[R.  Ac.  1875/3.] 

39.  Berittain  de  Sonza  Femandes  de  L4U«,  Jose  Mariano.— Biblioteca 

Hispana  Americana  Septentrional  ...  La  escribia  ...  J.  M.  Beris- 
tain  de  Souza.  [Tom.  2  &  3  edited  by  Jose  RafisMl  Enriquez  Trespa- 
lacios  Beristain.]    3  tom. 

AfJxico,  1816-19.     8*. 

[10880.  g.  32.— 1883.  1 1904.  a.  22.] 

40.  Bibliotfaeca  Mejicana.  —  Bibliotheca  Mejicana.      A  Catalogue  of  an 

extraordinary  Collection  of  Books  and  Manuscripts,  almost  wholly 
relating  to  the  History  and  Literature  of  North  and  South  America, 
particularly  Mexico,     pp.  ii.  312. 

London,  1869.    8°. 

[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

41.  BieoTetiida,  Lorenzo  de. — Lettre  du  Chapelain  Frére  Lorenzo  de  Bien- 

yenida  á  Philippe  II.,  alors  Prince  Héréditaire.  [Report  on  Yucatan.] 
De  Yuacan,  le  10  de  février,  1548.  Simancas.^ln  "Voyages,  Rela- 
tions, et  Mémoires  Ori^naux  pour  servir  á  THistoire  de  la  Découverte 
de  TAmérique.  Pubhés  pour  la  premiere  fois  en  Fran9ais  par  H. 
Temaux-Compans."— Tom.  x.  Recueil  de  Pieces  relatives  á  la  Con- 
quéte  du  Mexique.     Inédit.     pp.  307-343-) 

Arthus  Bertrand:  Paris,  mdcccxxxviii.     8". 

[G.  15812.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. 
—1 196.  i.  7.] 

42.  Bird,  Robert  Montgomery.— The  Infidel,  or.  The  Fall  of  Mexico.    A 

Romance.  By  the  Author  of  **  Calavar**  [Robert  Montgomery  Bird]. 
Second  Edition.     2  vols. 

Carey,  Lea  <Sr*  Blanchard:  Philadelphia,  1835.     8'. 

[12703.  e.  20.] 

43.  .—Cortes,   or.  The  Fall  of  Mexico.      By  Dr.   Bird,  Author  of 

"  Calavar".     3  vols. 

Richard  Bentley :  London,  1835.     8°. 

[N.  X170.— Another  edition  of  The  /njidel.] 


44.  Brassenr  de  Bonrbourr,  Étíenne  Charles.— Collection  de  Documents 
dans  les  Langues  Indifjénes,  pour  servir  á  Tétude  de  Thistoire  et  de  la 
philologie  de  TAmenque  Aiicienne.  [Edited  by  the  Abbe  Étienne 
Charles  Brasseur  de  Bourbourg.]    4  torn. 

Aug,  Duroftd:  Paris,  1861-68.     8^ 

[7703.  aa.  2.5.] 

44  a.  . — ^Tom.  I.     Popol  Vuh.     Le  Livre  Sacré  et  les  Mythes  de  I'anti- 

Quite  Américaine,  avec  les  Livres  hérolaues  et  historiques  des  Quiches. 
Ouvrage  original  des  Indigenes  de  Guatemala.  Texte  Quiche  et  traduc- 
tion fran9aise  en  regard,  accompagnée  de  notes  philologiques  et  d'un 
commentaire  sur  la  m3rthologie  et  les  migrations  des  peuples  andens  de 
l'Amérique,  etc.,  compose  sur  des  documents  originaux  et  inédits.  Par 
l'Abbé  Brasseur  de  Bourbourg.     pp.  cclxxix.  368. 

1861.    8*. 

[7703.  aa.  2.] 

44  b.  . — Tom.  2.     Gramatica  de  la  Lengua  Quiche.     Grammaire  de  la 

langue  Quichée,  espagnole-frangise,  mise  en  parallele  avec  ses  deux  dia- 
lectes,  Cakchiquel  et  Tzutuhil.  Tirée  des  manuscrits  des  meilleurs  auteurs, 
guatémaliens.  Ouvrage  accompagné  de  notes  philoloeiques,  ayec  un 
yocabulaire  comprenant  les  sources  prindpales  du  Quiche  comparées  aux 
langues  germaniques,  et  suivi  d'un  essai  sur  la  poésie,  la  musique,  la 
danse  et  Part  diamatique  cfaex  les  Mexicains  et  les  Guatémaltéques  avant 
la  Concjuéte.  Servant  d'introduction  au  Rabinal-Achi,  drame  indigene 
(transcnte  pour  la  premiere  fois  par  Bartolo  Zig),  avec  sa  musique 
orifi;inale,  texte  Quiche  et  traduction  fran9aise  en  regard.  Recueilli  par 
TAbbe  Brasseur  de  Bourbourg,  etc,    2  pts. 

1862.    8». 

[7703.  aa.  3.] 

44  c.  . — ^Tom.  3.     Relation  des  Choses  de  Yucatan  de  Diego  de  Landa. 

[1573- 1 579.]    Texte  espa^ol  et  traduction  fran9aise  en  regard,  compre- 
nant  les  signes  du  calendrier  et  de  I'alphabet  hiéroglyphique  de  la  langue 

Maya,  accompagné  de  documents  divers  historiques  et  chronologiques, 
avec  une  grammaire  et  un  vocabulaire  abrégés  Francais-Maya.  Precedes 
d'un  essai  sur  les  sources  de  Thistoire  primitive  du  Mexique  et  de  TAmeri- 
que  Centrale,  ji/^.,  d'aprés  les  monuments  égyptiens  et  de  Thistoire 
primitive  de  l*Égypte  d  aprés  les  monuments  américains.  Par  TAbbé 
Brasseur  de  Bourbourg,  etc,     pp.  cxii.  516. 

1864.     8°. 

[7703.  aa.  4.] 

44  d.  . — Tom.  4.     Quatrc  Lettres  sur  le  Mexique.     Exposition  absolue 

du  systéme  hiéroglyphique  mexicain,  la  fin  de  I'age  de  pierre,  époque 
glaciaire  temporaire,  commencement  de  Tage  de  bronze,  origines  de  la 
civilisation  et  des  religions  de  Tantiquite  d'aprés  le  Teo-Amoxtli  et 
autres  documents  mexicains,  etc.  Par  M.  Brasseur  de  Bourbourg,  etc, 
pp.  XX.  463. 

1868.     8*. 

[7703.  aa.  5.] 


45.  .—Bibliothéque  Menoo-Gaatémalienne  ^écéáée  d'un  coap  d*oeil 

sur  les  etudes  Américaines  dans  leur  rapports  avec  les  etudes  cUÍssiques 
et  suivie  du  tableau  par  ordre  alphabétique  des  ouvrages  de  linguistiqae 
Amérícaíne  contenus  dans  le  meme  volume,  redigée  et  mise  en  ordre 
d'apres  les  documents  de  sa  collection  Américaine.    pp.  xlvii.  183. 

Parú,  187 1.     8*. 

[01 197.  k.  18.— 1 1902.  g.  5.] 

46.  Brínton,  Daniel  Garrison. — The  Battle  and  the  Ruins  of  Cintla.     By 

Daniel  G.   Brinton,   M.D  ,   LL.D.,   D.Sc.,   Professor  of   American 
Archæology  and  Linguistics  in  the  University  of  Pennsylvania.     Illus- 
trated.     Reprinted  from  the  Ameri€an  Antiquarian,  vol.  xvii,  No.  5. 
September,  1896.     [pp.  259-268.]    pp.  12. 
Chicago,  1896.     8*. 

[P.  P.  1925.  1.— 07703.  g.  10.  (4.)— Principally  derived  from  notes 
made  by  the  late  Dr.  C.  H.  Berendt,  who  visited  and  surveyed  the 
Ruins  of  Cintla  in  March  and  April,  1869.] 

47.  . — The  Missing  Authorities  on  Mayan  Antiquities.     By  Daniel  G. 

Brinton,  M.D.  From  the  American  Anthropologist,  for  June,  1897. 
Vol.  X.    pp.  183- 191. 

Judd&*  DetweiUr:  fVashington,  D.C.,  1897.     8". 
[Ac.  6239/2.— 07703.  g.  10.  (703 

48. . — Were  the  Toltecs  an  Historic  Nationality  7  By  Daniel  G.  Brinton, 

M.D.,  Professor  of  American  Archæology  and  Linguistics  in  the  Uni- 
versity of  Philadelphia.  Read  before  the  American  Philosophical 
Society,  Sept.  2,  1887.     pp.  15. 

Press  ofMacCalla  6*  Company:  PhUa.^  1887.     S^ 

[10408.  cc.  34.  (2.)] 

49.  Britten,  John. — Sheridan  and  Kotzebue.     The  Enterprising  Adventures 

of  Pizarro.     Preceded  by  a  brief  Sketch  of  the  Voyages  and  Discoveries 
of  Columbus  and  Cortez.      To  which  are  subjomá  the  Histories  of 
Alonzo  and  Cora,  on  which  Kotzebue  founded  his  two  celebrated  Plays 
of  The  Virgin  of  the  Sun  and  The  Death  of  Rolla.     Also  varieties  and 
oppositions  of  criticisms  on  the  Play  of  Pizarro.      With  biographical 
sketches  of  Sheridan  and  Kotzebue.     The  whole  forming  a  comprehen- 
sive account  of  those  Plays  and  the  grand  Ballads  of  Cora,  and  Rolla 
and  Cora  at  the  Royal  Circus,  and  Royal  Amphitheatre  .  .  .     Dedi- 
cated 10  R.  B.  Sheridan,  Esq.     [By  John  Britton.] 
Published  by  f.  Fairburn,  No.  146,  Minories  ;  and  sold  by  Hurst, 
No.  32,  and  by  West  and  Hughes,  No,  40,  Paternoster  Row ;  also 
by  all  the  Booksellers  and  Stationers  in   Town  and  Country: 
London,  1779.     8*. 
[1343.  I.  19.] 

50.  Caballero,  Ramon  Diosdado. — L'Eroismo  di  Ferdinado  Cortese  confer- 

mato  contro  le  Censure  Nemiche.  [By  Ramon  Diosdado  Caballero.] 
pp.  viii.  195. 

Presso  Antonio  Fulgoni :  Roma,  mdcccvi.     8*. 

[12403.  aa.  12.  With  the  Book-plate  of  Francesco  Carafa,  Duca  di 

BlBLlOGkAPHV.  3^3 

51.  Cabrera  de  Cordova,  Luis.— Extiait  de  THistoire  de  Philippe  II.,  Koi 
d*EspAgne.  Par  Luis  Cabrera  de  Cordone,  historic^raphe  de  ce  royaume. 
Madrid:  Luis  Sanchez,  imprimeur  du  roij  16 19,  in  folio.  Découverte 
du  Nouveau-Mexiquc  á  la  Nouvelle-Espagne,  &c,  ("  In  Voyages, 
Relations,  et  Mémoires  Originaux  pour  servir  á  THistoire  de  la 
Découverte  de  I'Amerique.  Publiés  pour  la  premiere  fois  en  Francais 
par  H.  Ternaux-Compans." — Tom.  x.  Recueil  de  Pieces  relatives  a  la 
Conquete  du  Mexiqae.     Inédit.     pp.  429-450.) 

Arthus  Bertrand :  Parisy  MDCCCXXxviii.     S". 

[G.  1 58 1 2.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Gren  ville.  — 
1196.  i.  7.] 

52^  Calvete  de  Estrella,  Juan  Cristobal.— De  Rebus  Gestis    Ferdinandi 
Cortesii.     1548- 1560.     (With  Vida   de   Cortes.       In  "  Coleccion  de 
Documentos  para  la  Historia  de   Mexico.'*      Publicada  por  Joaquin 
Garcia  Icazbalceta.     Tom.  I. ) 
/.  M,  Andrade:  Mexico,  1858.     8'. 
[9771.  f.  15.] 

53.  Campbell,  John,  LL.D. — The  Expedition  of  Heman  Cortes  for  the 
Reduction  of  New  Spain,  from  the  Time  of  his  being  appointed  to  that 
Command,  unto  his  being  obliged  to  return  to  the  Island  of  Cozumel. 
(In  "  Navigantium  atque  Itinerantium  Bibliotheca,  or,  A  Complete 
Collection  of  Vo)rages  and  Travels  ..."  Originally  published  in  Two 
Volumes  in  folio,  by  John  Harris,  D.D.,  and  F.R.S.  Now  carefully 
revised,  with  large  additions,  and  continued  down  to  the  present  time 
[by  John  Campbell],  &c.  Vol.  2.  Book  I.  Chapter  ill.  pp.  63  135). 
[With  Two  Plates:  The  Interview  of  Cortes  and  Montezuma  in  Öie 
City  of  Mexico,  pp.97.  J.  Mynde  sc. — Antient  Mexico,  p.  114.]  . 
Printed  for  T.    Woodward,  S,  Bin,  D,  Browne,  T.  Longman,  [and 

II  others]  :  London,  m.dcc.xlviii.     fol. 
»[455.  g.  I,  2.     From  the  Library  of,  and  with  the  Book-plate  of, 


Sir  Joseph  Banks.— 572.  1.  3,  4.] 

53  a. .  — [Another  edition.  ] 

Printed  for  7".  Osborne,  ff,  Whitridge,  C,  Bathurst  [and  1$  others]: 

London,  MDCCLXiv.     fol. 
[G.  7041.     From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. 

— K.  209.  h.  8.     From  the  Library  of  ICing  George  III.] 

54.  Carderera  7  Solano,  Valentin. — Iconografia  Espafiola.     Coleccion  de 

Retratos,  £^tatuas,  Mausoleos  y  demas  Monumentos  inéditos  de  Reyes, 
Reinas,  Grandes  Capitanes,  Escritores,  «V.,  desde  el  siglo  xi  hasta  el 
xvii.  Copiados  de  los  originales  por  D.  Valentin  Carderera  y  Solano, 
pintor  honorario  de  S.  M.,  .  .  .  Con  texto  biografico  y  descnptivo,  en 
Espafiol  y  Frances,  por  el  mismo  autor.     2  tom.     84  Plates. 

Imyrenta  de  Don  Ramon  Camputano:  Madrid,  1855  y  1864.    fol. 

[1752.  c.  4.— Plate  72.     Portrait  of  Cortes.] 

55.  Casat,  Bartolomé  de  las.  Bishop  ofChiapa. — Historia  de  las  Indias.     Por 

Fr.  Bartolomé  de  las  Casas.  Publicada  ahora  por  vez  primera,  conforme 
á  los  originales  del  Autor,  que  se  custodian  en  la  Biblioteca  de  la 
Academia  de  la  Historia  y  en  la  Nacional  de  esta  Corte.    [1527- 1559.] 



(In  "Coleodoo  de  Dnnnnfntm  Inédiros  pua  la  Historia  de  Espafa- 
Por  d  Xfarqnés  de  la  Fnensuita  del  VaHc  jr  D.  Jose  Sandio  Rayoo.'^ 
Tom.  62-66.) 

Jmyrentm  de  Mfigaul  GenesU  :  Mmirid^  1S75-76.     8*. 

[9197.  ff) 

56.  .^An  Acooant  of  the  Fust  Voyages  and  Discoveries  made  by  the 

Spaniafds  in  America.  Containing  the  most  Exact  Relation  hithcfto 
paUish'd,  of  their  unpaiallerd  Cnieltics  on  the  Indians,  in  the  destnic- 
tion  of  above  Forty  Millions  of  People.  With  the  Profxisitions  ofe'd 
to  the  King  of  Spain,  to  prevent  the  farther  Rnin  of  the  West-Indies. 
By  Don  Bartholomew  de  las  Casaa,  Bishop  of  Chiapa,  who  was  an  Eye- 
witness of  their  Cruelties.  lUnstrated  with  Cots.  To  which  is  added. 
The  Art  of  Travelling,  shewing  how  a  Man  may  dispose  his  Travels  to 
the  best  advantage.    [With  2  Plates  of  22  Scenes.]    pp.  248.  40. 

Lond&H  :  PtmUd  by  J,  Darby  for  D.  Brown  at  the  Blaci  Swom  amd 
Bible  withemi  TempU-Bar^  /.  Harris  at  the  Harrow  m  IMtle 
Britain,  and  Andr,  Bell  at  the  Cross-keys  and  Bible  in  ComkHj 
MDCXCIX.      y. 

[G.  15933.     From  the  Libiaiy  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.] 

jy.  .  — Lettere  di  Bartolommeo  di  lasCasas  a  Filippo  II.,  Redi  Spegna. 

(In  *'  Raccolta  di  Viaggi  dalla  Scoperta  del  Naovo  Continente  fino  a'  di 
nostri.     Compilata  da  F.  C.  MarmocchL"    torn.  11.     pp.  461-546.) 

FraUlli  Giacketti :  Prato,  1843.     8*. 

[1424.  i.  5-] 

58.  Catfaei  wood,   Frederick.  —  Views  of  Ancient    Monuments    in    Ontral 

America,  Chiapas  and  Yucatan.  By  F.  d^therwood,  Archt.  Owen 
Jones  Cniromohth.     pp.  24.     Outline  Map,  with  Sites.     25  Plates. 

F,  Catkerwood:  London^  1844.    foL 

[1263.  L  19.] 

59.  Cepeda,    Fernando    de,    and  CairiUo,    Fernando   Alfonso. — Reladon 

Universal  Legitima  y  Verdadera  del  Sitio  en  que  esta  fimdada  la  muy 
noble,  insigne,  y  muy  leal  Ciudad  de  Mexico,  cabeýa  de  las  Provindas 
de  toda  la  Nueva  Espafia.  Lagunas,  Rios,  y  Montes  que  la  dfien  y 
rodean.  Cal^adas  que  las  dibiden.  Y  A^equias  que  kt  atiaviesan. 
Ynundaciones  que  á  padecido  desde  su  Gentilidad.  Remedios  aplicados. 
Desagues  profMiestos,  y  emprendidos.  Origen  y  íabrica  del  de 
Gueguetocar  y  estado  en  que  oy  se  halla.  Ymposidones,  denamas, 
y  gastos  que  se  an  hecho.  Forma  con  que  se  á  auctuado  desde  el 
afio  de  1553  hasta  el  presente  de  1637.  De  Orden  y  mandato  del 
Excelletissimo  Sefior  D.  Lope  Diez  de  Armedariz,  Marques  de  Cadereita, 
del  Consejo  de  Guerra  de  su  Majestad,  su  Mayordomo,  Virrey,  Gover- 
nador  y  Capitft  General  de  la  Nueva  Espafia,  y  Presidente  de  la  Real 
Audiecia  que  en  esta  Ciudad  reside.  Dispuesta  y  ordenada  por  el 
Licenciado  Don  Fernando  de  Cepeda,  Relator  della.  Y  Don  Fernando 
Alfonso  Carillo,  Escrivano  Mayor  del  C^vildo.  Corregida,  ajustada,  y 
concertada  con  el  Licenciado  Don  Juan  de  Albares  Serrano,  del 
Consejo  de  su  Magestad  Oydor  mas  andguo  de  la  dicha  Real  Audiencia. 

En  Mexico:  en  la  Imprenta  de  Francisco  Salbago^  Minisiro  del 
S.  Officio^  Afto  de  1637.     fol. 


59  a. . — Impressa,  y  Publicada  esta  Relacion  en  7  de  Abril  deste  Afio  se 

presentó  contra  ella  por  parte  de  [)on  Antonio  Urrutia  de  Vergara  ante 
el  sefior  Virrey  una  peticið  de  addiciones,  pretendiendo  no  averse  hecho 
con  el  aiustamiento  que  se  devia,  etc. 
Mexico^  á  22  de  Julio  de  1637.     fol. 
[K.  145.  e.  15.— From  the  Library  of  King  George  III.] 

60.  Cenrántes  de  SaUzar,  Francisco.  ~  Mexico  en  15^4.    Tres  Dialog 

Latinos  que  Francisco  Cervantes  Salazar  escribió  é  imprimió  en  Mexico 
en  dicho  Afio.  Los  reimprime,  con  Traduccion  Castellana  y  Notas, 
Joaquin  Garcia  Icazbalceta,  etc,  [Dedicated  to  Sefior  Don  Jose  Maria 
Andrade.]    pp.  L.  344. 

Antigua  Libreria  de  Andrade  y  Morales,  Ported  de  Agustinos  núm, 
3  :  Mexico,  1875.     8". 

[10480.  ee.  3. — 180  copies  only  printed.] 

61.  Chappe  d*  Auteroche,  Jean. — Voyage  en  Califomie  pour  I'Observation 

du  Passage  de  Venus  sur  le  Disque  du  Soleil,  le  3  Juin  1769.  Con- 
tenant  les  observations  de  ce  phénoméne,  &  la  description  historiaue  de 
la  route  de  TAuteur  á  travers  le  Mexique.  Par  feu  M.  Chappe 
d*Auteroche,  de  TAcademie  Royale  des  Sciences.  Rédigé  &  puDlié 
[with  "  Histoire  Abrégée  de  la  Parallaxe  du  Soleil ",]  par  M.  de 
Cassini  fils,  de  la  méme  Académie,  Directeur  en  survivance  de  TObser- 
vatoire  Royal  de  Paris,  &c.  [At  Page  32  :  Plan  de  la  Ville  de  Mexico. 
De  la  Gardette  sculp.  This  finely  engraved  Plan  measures  20^  x 
15  Inches,  and  has  been  reproduced  in  fac-simile  by  Mr.  Donald 
Macbeth  for  the  Second  Volume  of  the  present  work.]  pp.  172. 
Á  Paris:    Chen   Charles- Antoine  Jombert,   Libraire  du  Roi  pout 

tArtillerie   <5t*  le  Genie,  rue  Dauphine,  h  P Image  Notre-Dame  ; 

{de  rimpritnerie  de  Fr,  Ambroise  Didot,  rue  Pavée),  m.dcclxxii. 

[K.  145.  d.  7.      From  the  Library  of  King  George  III.  —983.  d.  23. 

From  the  Library  of  Sir  Joseph  Banks.] 

62.  ——.—A  Voyage  to  California,  to  observe  the  Transit  of  Venus.     By 

Mons.  Chappe  d'Auteroche.  With  an  Historical  Description  of  the 
Author's  Route  through  Mexico,  and  the  Natural  History  of  that 
Province.  Also,  A  Voyage  to  Newfoundland  and  Sallee,  to  make 
experiments  on  Mr.  Le  Ro/s  Time  Keepers.  By  Monsieur  de  Cassini. 
pjx  215.  [With  a  reduction  of  the  Plan  of  the  City  of  Mexico,  engraved 
by  M.  de  La  Gardette,  10  x  7i  Inches.] 
Printed  for  Edward  and  Charles  Dilly,  in  the  Poultry :  London, 

MDCCLXXVIII.      8*. 

[792*  g'  31-  (3.)  From  the  Library  of  King  George  III.,  though  not 
placed  with  the  Royal  Collection.  At  page  104  is  the  following 
note  :  "  We  are  farther  obliged  to  Don  Alzate  for  a  very  accurate 
map  of  Mexico,  which  he  has  delineated  from  the  best  accounts  of 
such  travellers  as  he  is  within  reach  of  consulting  in  that  country. 
He  has  also  sent  us  a  map,  drawn  up  in  Cortése's  life  time, 
by  which  it  is  evident  that  in  those  early  times  the^  already  knew 
(California  to  be  a  peninsula,  and  the  extent  of  it  was  as  well 
ascertained  as  it  has  since  been  by  later  discoveries.  Had  this  map 
been  published  in  his  time,  it  would  have  saved  many  dispute 
about  California.  The  readiness  of  Don  [Joseph  Antonio  de]  Alzate 
y  Ramirez  to  communicate  to  us  whatever  might  be  interesting  in  a 
country  so  near  to  us,  together  with  his  talents  and  personal 
qualities,  have  deserved  the  encomiums,  and  excited  the  gratitude 
of  the  members  of  the  Academy  [Académie  Royale  des  Sciences], 
who  have  testified  their  sense  of  his  merit,  by  admitting  him  to  be 
one  of  their  correspondents."] 


63.  Cfajunay,  Desire. — Le  Mezique.     Souvenirs  et  Impressions  de  Voyage. 
1858-1861.     pp.  439. 
E.  Dentu :  Paris,  1863.     8*. 
[10480.  bb.  29.] 

64. —-. — Les  Anciennes  Villes  du  Nouveau  Monde.    Voyages  d'explora- 

tions  an  Mexique  et  dans  i'Améríque  Centrale.    Par  Desire  Chamay. 
1857- 1882.     Ouvrage  contenant  214  gravures  et  19  cartes  ou  plans, 
pp.  xii.  469. 
Hachette  et  Cie, :  Paris,  1885.     fol. 
[1789.  d.  la] 

65.  Clavigero,  Francesco  Saverio.^Storia  Antica  del  Messico.  Cavata  da' 
migliori  storid  SptB^uoli,  e  da*  Manoscritti,  e  dalle  pitture  antiche 
degl'  Indiani.  Divisa  in  dieci  libri,  e  corredata  di  carte  gec^raiiche,  e 
di  varie  figure :  e  Dissertazioni  Bulla  Terra,  sugli  Animali,  e  sugli  abitatori 
del  Messico.  Opera  dell'  Abate  D.  Francesco  Saverio  Clavigero. 
2  torn.  21  Plates.  2  Maps. 
Per  Gregtnio  Biasini  alt  Insegna  di Pallade :  in  Cesena,  mdcclxx.\-i. 

[K.  145.  c.  7-10.     From  the  Library  of  King  George  III. — 983.  d. 
21,  22.    From  the  Library  of  Sir  Joseph  Banks.] 

66.  . — The  History  of  Mexico.     Collected  from  Spanish  and  Mexican 

Historians,  from  Manuscripts,  and  Ancient  Paintings  of  the  Indians. 
Illustrated  by  Charts,  and  other  Copper  Plates.  To  which  are  added. 
Critical  Dissertations  on  the  Land,  the  Animals,  and  Inhabitants  of 
Mexico.  By  Abbe  D.  Francesco  Saverio  Clavigero.  Translated  from 
the  original  Italian  by  Charles  CuUen,  Esq.  In  Two  Volumes. 
Printed  for  G.   G,  J.  and  J.  Robinson,  No,  25,  Pater-ncster  Row, 

London,  MDCCLXXXVii.     4^ 
[K.  147.  d.  13,  14.     From  the  Library  of  King  George  III.— 984.  f. 
19,  20.     From  the  Library  of  Sir  Joseph  Banks.] 

66  a.  ^.— The  Second  Edition.     In  Two  Volumes. 

Printed  for  J,  Johnson,  St,  Paul's  Churchyard,  by  Joyce  Gold,  Shoe 
Lane:  London,  1807.     4^ 

[9771.  f.  17.] 

6t,  . — Historia  Antigua  de  Megico.    Sacada  de  los  mejóres  Historia- 

dores  espafloles,  y  de  los  manuscritos,  y  de  las  pinturas  antiguas  de  los 
Indios.  Dividida  en  diez  libros.  Adomada  con  mapas  y  estampas,  e 
ilustrada  con  Disertaciones  sobr^  la  tierra,  los  animales,  y  los  habitantes 
de  Megico.  Escrita  por  D.  Francisco  Saverio  Clavigero,  y  tradudda 
del  ItaUano  por  Jose  Joaquin  de  Mora.     2  tom. 

Londres:  lo  publica  R,  Ackermann,  Strand,  y  en  su  establecimitnio  en 
Megico :  asimismo  en  Colombia,  en  Buenos  Ayres,  Chile,  Peru,  y 
Guatemala,  1826.     8^ 
[1061.  k.  17,  18.] 

68,  Codex  Ramirez. 

See  Ramirez,  Jose  Fernando.     1903. 


69.  Codex  Troano-Americano.  — La  Conquista  de  Mexico  efectuada  por 

liernán  Cortes.  Segun  el  Codice  Jeroglifico  Troano- Americano. 
EdiciÓD  especial,  que  con  preliminares  de  la  clave  jeroglifica,  dedica  al 
Seftor  Presidente  de  la  Republica  Mexicana,  General  Don  Porfirio  Diaz 
el  Presbitcro  Dámaso  Sotomayor,  Mienjbro  no  residente  de  la  Asocia- 
cion  Americanista  de  Francia.    [Illustrated.]    pp.  40. 

Tipografia  de  la  Oficina  Impresora  del  Jtmhre :  Mexico ,  1897.     fol. 

[7705.  h.  36.] 

CortéSi  Hernando,  Marques  del  Valle  de  Guajaca. 

[Five  Letters.] 

70.  . — Cartas  de  Relacion  [I-V]  de  Fernando  Cortes  sobre  el  Descubri" 

miento  y  Conquista  de  la  Nueva  Espafla.    [  15 19- 1526.  ]  (In  **  Bibliotec* 
de  Autores  Espaftoles,  desde  la  formacion  del  lenguaje  hasta  nuestro 
dias.  Historiaaores  Primitivos de  Indias.    [Tom.  I.]    Coleccion  dirigida 
é  ilustrada  por  Don   Enrique  de  Vedia."    Tom.  xxii.     pp.   xv-xvii. 

Imprentay  Estereotipla  de  M.  Rivadeneyra :  Madrid,  1852.     8°. 

71. ^,— Cartas  y  Relaciones  de  Heman  Cortes  al  Emperador  Carlos  V. 

[i 519-1544.]    Colegidas  é  ilustradas  por  Don  Pascual  de  Gayángos,  f/c. 
pp.  li.  575. 
Imprenta  Central  de  los  Ferro-CarrUes,   A,    Ckaix  y  O. ;  Paris, 

1866.     8'. 
[9771.  f.  16.] 

72.  .  — Lettres  de  Fernand  Cortes  á  Charles-Quint  sur  la  Découverte  et 

la  Conquéte  du  Mexique.  Traduites  par  Desire  Charnay.  Avec  Preface 
du  docteur  E.  T.  Hamy,  membre  de  Tlnstitut.     pp.  x.  387.] 

Hachette  et  Cie, :  Paris,  1896.     8*. 
[9551.  dd.  6.] 

73.  . — Letters  of  Cortes.     The  Five  Letters  of  Relation  from  Fernando 

Cortes  to  the  Emp>eror  Charles  V.  Translated,  and  Edited,  with  a 
Biographical  Introduction  and  Notes  compiled  from  Original  Sources, 
by  Francis  Augustus  MacNatt.     2  vols. 

G.  P,  Putnam's  Sons :  New  York  and  London,  1908.     8*. 
[9551.  g.  3.] 

[Letters  Two  to  Five.] 

74.  . — The  Despatches  of  Hernando  Cortes,  the  Conqueror  of  Mexico 

addressed  to  the  Emperor  Charles  V.,  written  during  the  Conquest,  and 
containing  a  narrative  of  its  events.  [Letters  2  to  5.]  Now  first 
translated  into  English  from  the  Original  Spanish,  with  an  Introduction 
and  Notes,  by  George  Folsom,  one  of  the  Secretaries  of  the  New 
York  Historical  Society,  &c.,  &c.     pp.  xii.  431. 

Wiley  and  Putnam  :  New  York  <5r*  London,  1843.     8'. 
[1446.  k.i.] 

[Letters  Two  to  Four.] 

75.  . — Carta  de  Relacion,  embiada  a  su  Sacra  Magestad  del  Emperador 

Nuestro  SeAor  por  el  Capitan  General  de  la  Nueva  EspaAa,  llamado 
D.  Fernando  Cortes,  etc.  [Printed  by  Jacobo  Cromberger,  Sevilla, 
Nov.  8,  1522.]    (Carta  Tercera,  etc. — Carta  o  Quarta  Relacion,  etc. — In 


"  Historíadores  Prímitivos   de    las   Indias    Occidentales,  qae   junto, 
traduxo  en  parte,  y  sacó  á  luz,  ílastrados  con  eruditas  Notas,  y  copiosos  j 

Indices,  el  Ilustrissimo  Sefior  D.  Andres  Gonzalex  Barcia,  del  Consejo,  f 

y  Camara  de  S.  M.  Divididos  en  tres  Tomos,  cuyo  contenido  se  vera  en  4 

el  folio  siguiente.     Tom.  i.     Part  2.    pp.  1-156.) 

Madrid^  Afio  MDCCXLIX.     fol. 

[K.  145.  f.  9.     From  the  Library  of  King  Geoige  II L] 

76.  . — Historia  de  Nueva-Espafta.  Escrita  por  sn  esclareddo  Con- 
quistador, Heman  Cortes.  Aumentada  con  otros  Documentos,  y  Notas 
por  el  Ilustrissimo  Seflor  Don  Francisco  Antonio  Lorenzana,  Anobispo 
de  Mexico.  [Illustrated.  With  a  Map :  Piano  de  la  Nueva  Espafia,  en 
que  se  seftalan  los  Viages  que  luzo  el  (japitan  Heman  Cortes  assi  antes 
como  despues  de  conquistado  el  Imperio  Mexicano.  Dispuesto  por 
D».  Iph.  Ant°.  de  Alzate  y  Ramirez.  Aflo  de  1769.  Navarro  delin. 

At  Page  I  is  a  double  Plate :  El  Grande  Templo  de  Mexico.  Navarro 
sculpio  en  Mexico.     Calle  de  los  Donzeles.     Alio  1769. 

At  Page  2  is  a  Plate  :  Los  Meses  de  el  Aflo  Mexicano,  &c.  Manuel 
Villavicencis  sc.     £n  Mexico. 

Pages  11-36 :  Gobiemo  Politico  de  Nueva  Espafia.  A  List  of  the 
Viceroys  of  Mexico,  1535-1769. 

Page  176.  Cordillem  de  los  Pueblos  que  antes  de  la  Conquista 
pagaban  Tributo  á  el  Emperador  Mucteznma  y  en  que  especie  y 
cantidad.     32  engraved  Plates.]    pp.  xvi.  400. 

En  Mexico  en  la  Imþrenta  del  Superior  Goóierno,  del  Br.  D,Jouph 
Antonio  de  Hogal  en  la  Calle  de  Tiburcio^  Aflo  de  1770.     fol. 

[K.  145.  d.  14.  From  the  Library  of  Kinir  Geoige  III.— G.  6393. 
From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.— With 
a  List  of  the  45  Viceroys  of  Mexico,  1535- 1766.     pp.  13-36.] 

77.  . — Correspondance  de  Fernand  Cortes  avec  TEmpereur  Charles- 
Quint  sur  la  Conquete  du  Mexique.  Traduite  par  M.  le  Vicomte  de 
Flavigny,  Lieutenant-Colonel  de  Dragons,  &  Chevalier  de  I'Oidre 
Royal  &  Militaire  de  Saint-Louis.  (Voyage  de  Femand  Cortes  dans  la 
Peninsule  de  la  Califomie.  Avec  une  note  de  toutes  les  expeditions,  qui 
y  ont  été  faites  jusqu'  en  1769,  pour  Tintelligence  des  desseins  de 
Femand  Cortes  &  de  sa  troisiéme  [or  rather  quatríéme]  Lettre.) 
pp.  xxvi.  508. 

Á  Paris:  Chez  Cellot  <&•  Jombert  Fils  jeune^  Lihraires^  rue 
Dauphine^  la  seconde  porte  cockire  á  droile,  au  fond  de  la  cour, 
[1778.]     I2'. 

[K.  278.  c.  20.— From  the  Library  of  King  Geoige  III.— The 
Fourth  Letter  is  dated  :  le  1$  Octodre,  1724,  in  error  for  1524.  ] 

77  a.   . — [Another  edition.      Dedicated  to  Madame   la  Marquise  de 

Polignac.]    pp.  xvi.  471. 

Chez  J.  J,  Kesler:  h  Francforl,  1779.     8". 

[1446.  h.  5.— With  the  Book-plate  of  the  Duke  of  Sussex.  Perkins 
and  Heath.  Patent  Hardened  SUel  Hate, — Purchased  Tune  24, 


78.  . — Historia  de  Méjico.     Escrita  por  su  esclarecido  Conquistador, 

Hernan  Cortes.  Aumentada  con  otros  Documentos  v  Notas  por 
D.  Francisco  Antonio  Lorenzana,  Antiguo  Arzobispo  de  Méjico.  [1770.  ] 
Revisada  y  adaptada  á  la  ortogiaiia  modema  por  D.  Manuel  Del  Mar. 
[With  3  Illustrations,  and  a  Noticia  Histónca  de  Heman  Cortes.] 
pp.  no.  614. 
La  publican  los  Sres.  WhiUy  GaUaher  y  White^  en  la  Imprenta  <U 

VanderpoolyCole:  I/niva[sic]  York,  1828.     8'. 
[9771.  c.  3a] 

79'  — — .— Drei  Berichte  desGeneral-Kapitains  von  Neu-Spanien  Don  Fer- 
nando Cortes  an  Kaiser  Karl  V.  Aus  dem  Spanischen  Uberseut,  mit 
einem  Vorworte  und  erláutemden  Anmerkungen  von  Dr.  Carl  Wilhelm 
Koppe,  Königl.  Preuss.  Geh.  Regierungs-Rath.  Mit  einer  Karte  und 
einem  Fragment  des  in  Hieroglyphen  abgefassten  Alt-Mexikanischen 
Tribut-Registers.     pp.  xxxi.  512.     F.  P. 

Verlagvan  Theodor  Chr,  Fr,  Enslin  :  Berlin,  1834.     8% 
[1048a  c  2.     Purchased  July  23,  1863.] 

80.  . — Lettres  de  Fernand  Cortes  á  Charles-Quint.   Complétées  par  les 

Récits  de  Antoine  de  Solis.  Réduites  et  annotées  par  Vallée,  de  la 
Bibliothéque  Nationale.  {Bibliothéque  cTAventures  et  de  Voyages,) 
pp.  viii.  275. 

Maurice  Dreyfous :  Paris,  i%y^.     8". 

[9771.  bb.  4.] 

[Lbttbrs  Two  &  Threb.] 

81.  . — Praeclara  Ferdinádi  Cortesil  de  Nova  maris  Oceani  Hyspania 

Narratio  Sacratissimo  ac  Invictissimo  Carolo  Romanoru  Imperatori 
semper  Augusto,  Hysponiaru,  &c.,  Re^  Anno  Domini  m.d.xx  trans- 
missa :  In  qua  Continentur  Plurima  satu  &  admiratione  digna  Circa 
egregias  earti  puintiaru  Urbes,  Incolara  mores,  pueroru  Sacrificia,  & 
Religiosas  Personas,  Potissimuq'  de  Celebri  Civitate  Temixtitan  Variisq' 
illi*  mirabilib*  q^ue  legetS  mirihce  delectabut  p'  Doctorg  Petru  saguor- 

fnanu  Foro  Juhense  Revefi.  D.  Joan,  de  Revelles  Episco.  Vienesis 
ecretariii  ex  Ilyspano  Idiomate  in  latine  versa.  (De  rebus  et  Insulis 
noviter  Repertis  a  Sereniss.  Carolo  Imperatore,  Et  Variis  earum 
gentium  moribus.     [By  Pietro  Marlire  d'Anghiera.])  if.  49.  12. 

Impressa  in  Celebri  Civitate  Norimberga,  Coventui  Imperiali  presi- 
dmte  ^erenissimo  Ferdinando  Hyspaniarú  InfUte,  <&■  Archiduce 
Austria  Sac:  Ro.  Imp:  Locút,  Generali.  Per  Tridericum  Peypus, 
Arthimesius,  Anno  Dai,  u,D.xxilll,  Quar.  Mb,  Mar.  fol. 
[C.  20.  e.  9.  (I.)  With  a  Map  of  the  City  of  Mexico,  slightly 
mutilated,  and  with  a  wood-cirt  portrait  of  Pope  Clement  VII.,  at 
the  end  of  the  Argumentum  Libri, — G.  7032.  (2.)  Wants  the 

81  a.  .— Tertia  Ferdinádi  Cortesii  Sac.  Caesar,  et  Cath.  Majesta.  in 

Nova  Maris  Oceani  Hysixmia  Generalis  præfectí  pclara  Narratio,  In 
qua  Celebris  Civitatis  Temixtitan  expugnatio,  aliaruq*  Provintiaru,  que 
defecerant  recuperatio  continetur,  In  quaru  expugnatione,  recu- 
perationeq'  Præfectus,  una  cum  Hyspauis  Victorias  æterna  memoria 
dignas  consequutus  est,  preterea  In  ea  Mare  del  Sur  Cortesium  detexisse 
recéset,  quod  nos  Australe  Indicu  Pelagus  putam",  &  alias  innumeras 
Provintias  Aurifodinis,  Unionibus,  Variisq'  Gemmarum  generibus 
rcfertas,  Et  postremo  illis  innotuisse  in  eis  quoq*  Aromatac  contineri, 


Per  Doctors  Petnim  Savorgnanu  Forojuliensem  Revu.  in  Christo  patris 

dfti  Jo.   de  Revelles  Episcopi  Viefiensis    Secretarium   Ex   Hyspano 

ydiomate  In  Latinum  Versa,     ff.  51. 

Impressum    in    Imperiali    Cwitatt    Norimberga,    Per    Discretum^ 

&*  prcmdum  Virum  Fœdericú  Arthemisium  Civem  ibidem ^  Anno 

Virginei  partus  MilUsimo  quingentesimo  vigesimo  quarto,   [1524.] 


[C.  20.  e.  9.  (2.)— G.  7032.  (3.)     From  the  Library  of  the  Right 

Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.  — With  a  Portrait  of  Charles  V.  above  the 

Title,  and  on  the  verso  a  large  plate  of  the  Arms  of  Germany  and 

Spain,  encircled  by  the  Collar  of  the  Golden  Fleece.  — Mr.  Granville's 

copy  is  bound  up  with  Simon  Grynaeus  :  Novus  Orbis,  Apud  lo. 

Hervagium :  Basileae,  AnnoM.D.xxxii,  in  contemporary  binding.] 

82.  . — De  Insulis  Nuper  Inventis  Ferdinandi  Cortesii  ad  Carolum  V. 

Kom.  Imperatorem  Narrationes,  cum  alio  quodam  Petri  Martyris  ad 
Clementem  VII.  Pontificem  Maximum  consimilis  argumenti  libello. 
His  accesserunt  Epistolæ  duæ,  de  felicissimo  apud  Indos  Evangelii 
incremento,  quas  superioribus  hisce  diebus  quidam  fratres  Mino.  ab 
India  in  Hispaniam  transmiserunt.  Item  Epitome  de  inventis  nuper 
Indiæ  populis  idolatris  ad  fidem  Christi,  atq'  adeo  ad  Ecclesiam 
Catholicam  convertendis,  Autore  R.  P.  F.  Nicolao  Herborn,  regularis 
observantiæ,  ordinis  Minorum  Generali  Commissario  Cismontano. 

(Ferdinandi  Cortesii  de  Nova  Maris  Oceani  Hisjpania  Narratio 
secunda. — Tertia  Ferdinandi  Cortesii  Sac.  Caes.  et  Catfi.  Ma.  in  Nova 
maris  Oceani  Hispania  generalis  præfecti  præclara  narratio  .  .  .  Per 
Doctorem  Petrum  Savorgnanum  Forojuliensem  ...  ex  Hispano 
idiomate  in  Latinum  versa. ) 

Colonia  :\ex  ogkina  Melchioris  Nt/vesiani,  Anno  M.D.  xxxil.  Decimc 
Kalendas  mensis  Sepiembris ;  Coloniœ:  Imyensis  honesti  cvvis 
Amoldi  Birckman,  Anno  Domini  M,D,xxxiu  Menst  Septembri, 
Venduntur  in  pingui  Gallina,     [1532.]    fol.  a 

[C.  20.  e.  16. — G.  6814.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon. 
Thomas  Grenville. — 982.  i.  18.  From  the  Library  of  Sir  Joseph 
Banks.  Cropped.— On  the  Title-page  is  a  Portrait  of  Charles  v., 
crowned,  surrounded  by  a  border  containing  25  Coats  of  Arms 
of  countries  and  towns  ruled  by  the  Emperor.  The  Portrait  also 
occurs  in  front  of  the  Second  and  of  the  Third  Letter. — The 
Printer's  Device  of  the  **  honestus  civis"  in  the  imprint  is  a  hen- 
roost guarded  by  two  foxes !] 

83.  . — [Another  edition.]    In  "Novus  Orbis  Regioilum  ac  Insularum 

veteribus  Incognitarum  cum  Tabula  Cosmographica,  &  aliquot  aliis 
consimilis  argumenti  libellis,  nunc  novis  navigationibus  auctus,  quorum 
omnium  catalogus  sequenti  patebit  pagina."  [Edited  by  Simon  Gry- 
naeus.]    pp.  536-677. 

Basileœ :  per  Joannem  Hervagium^  Anno  u,D.hV.  Mense  Septembri. 

[I55S-]    fol. 
[G.  7034.    From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. — 

With  the  rare  Map  :   lypus  Cosmographicus  Uhiuerscdis, — K.  216. 

d.  I.    From  the  Library  of  King  George  III.     With  the  Map.] 

83  a,  . — [Another  edition.]    In  **  Novus  Orbis,  id  est,  Navicrationes 

Primæ  in  Amencam  :  q^uibus  adjunximus  Gasparis  Varrerii   Discursum 

super  Ophyra  Regione.       [Edited  by  Simon  Grynaeus.]     pp.  175-570. 

ApudJohannemLeonardiBerewout:  /íoterodamifAnnou.D,cxvi,  8^. 

[G.  6901.    From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.— 

1060.  a.  23.  (I,  2.)] 


84.  . — Epitome  de  la  Seconde  narration  de  la  mer  Oceane  de  Ferdinant 

Cortese  :  traslatée  de  latin  en  franco}rs,  k  tres  noble  adolescet  mösieur 
Charles  due  DSgoulesme  tiers  nlz  du  trés-chrestien  roy  de  fráce 
Fran9oys  premier  de  ce  nom.  [October  30,  1520.]  Epitome  de  la 
Tierce  narration  de  Ferdinant  Cortese.     [May  15,  1522.] 

In  '*  Extraict  ou  Recueil  des  Isles  nouvellemSt  trouv^  en  la  grand 
mer  Oceane  ou  temps  du  roy  Despaip;ne  Femád  &  Elizabeth  sa  femme, 
faict  premiérement  en  latin  par  Pierre  Martyr  de  Millan,  &  depuis 
translate  en  languaige  fran9oys.  Item  trois  Narrations :  dont  la 
premiere  est  de  Cuba,  &  commence  ou  fiieillet  132.  La  seconde,  qui 
est  de  la  mer  Oceane,  commence  ou  fiieiUet  155.  La  tierce,  qui  est  de 
la  prinse  de  Tenustitan,  commence  ou  fiieillet  192.    if.  207. 

On  Us  vend  á  Farts,  rue  sainct  /ehan  de  BeauvcUs,  che*  Simon  de 
Colims  au  soleil  dor,  (Impnmé  á  Paris  par  Simon  de  Colines, 
libraire  jure  de  luniversité  de  Patis^  Lin  de  gfáce^  Mil  cinq  cis 
trente-deux,  le  douxiesme  jour  de  Janvier.)  [1532.]  4^ 
[K.  279.  h.  33.— From  the  Library  of  King  George  III. — 979.  1.  28. 
From  the  Library  of  Sir  Joseph  Banks.  With  the  autc^raphs  of  two 
former  owners :  Sir  Henry  Spelman,  (1564-1641),  &  Daines  Bar- 
rington  (1727- 1800). — 1061.  c,  9.  From  the  Library  of  King 
Henry  VIII.     Bound  in  red  silk.] 

85.  . — Ferdinandi  Cortesii  von  dem  Newen  Hispanien  so  im   Meer 

gegem  Nideigang  zwo  gantz  lustige  unnd  fruchtreiche  Historien  an  den 
grossmáchtigisten  unUberwindtlichisten  Herren  Carolum  V. ,  Romischen 
Kaiser,  &c.,  Ktinig  in  Hispanien,  &c.  Die  erst  im  m.d.xx  jar  zuge- 
schriben  in  wellicher  grundtlich  und  glaubwirdig  erzelt  wirdt  der 
Abendtlándern  und  sonderlich  der  Hochberilmpten  statt  Temixtitan 
eroberung.  Die  andere  im  1524  jar  Wie  Temixtitan  so  abgefallen 
wider  erobert  Nachmals  andere  herzliche  syg  sampt  der  erfindung  des 
Meers  Sur  So  man  iUr  das  Indianisch  Meer  achtet.  Darzu  auch  von 
vilen  andern  Landtschaften  Indiæ  So  erfimden  von  dem  1536  biss  auf 
das  42  Jar.  Wellicher  vilfaltige  frucht  nutz  und  lustparkait  in  ainer 
Sum  auff  das  kUrtzest  ainer  yetwedem  Historien  volgendes  Tittel 
begriffen  und  angezaigt  wirdt  Erstiich  in  Hispanischer  Sprach  von 
Cortesio  selbst  beschriben  Nachmals  von  Doctor  Peter  Savorenan  auss 
Friaul  in  Lateinische  sprach  Transferiert  Entlich  aber  in  Hochteutsche 
sprach  zu  ehren  und  auss  underthanigister  gehorsame  dem  Allerdurch- 
leuchtigisten  Grossmáchtigisten  FUrsten  ufi  Herm  Herm  Ferdinanden 
Romischen  zu  Hungem  und  Böhem  &c.  Ktinigen  In&nte  in  Hispanien 
Ertzhertzogen  zu  Osterreich  &c. ,  von  Xysto  Betuleio  uft  Andrea  Diethero 
von  Augspurg  baiden  daselbst  gemainer  Statt  Lateinischen  Schulmais- 
tern.     2  parts,    if.  39.  60. 

Getruckt  inn  der  Kaiserlichen  Reichs  Statt  Augspurg  durch  PhUipp 
Ulhart  In  der  Kirchgassen  bey  S,  Ulrich,  Anno  Domini  m.d.l, 
[1550.]     fol. 

[G.  6816.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. — 
G.  6817.  Another  copy  of  the  Third  Letter,  without  the  Supple- 
ment,    ff.  50.] 

[First  Letter.] 
The  First  Letter  of  Cortes  to  the  Emperor  Charles  V.  has  been  lost,  but  is 
replaced   by    the    Letter    of  the    Municipality  of  Vera  Cruz  to  the 
Emperor,  dated  July  10,  15 19. 

86. .—Carta  de  Relacion.     (In  **  Colección  de  Documentos  Inéditos 

para  la  Historia  de  Espafia."    Tom.  i.) 
Madrid,  1842.     8^. 
[9197.  ff.] 


87.  .^Caita  de  Rekcion.    In  "Biblioteca  de  Autores  Espaftoles  desde 

la  fonnadoQ  del  lengnaje  hasta  nuestros  dias.  Historiadores  PrímitÍTOS 
de  Indias.  [Tom.  I.]  Colecdon  dirigida  é  ilnstrada  por  Don  Enrique 
deVedia."    Tom.  xxii.) 

Af.  Rivadeneyra  :  Madrid^  1852.     8'. 
[2044.  a.] 

[Second  Lbttbil] 
October  50,  152a 

88.  .—Carta  de  relaciö  ébiada  a  su  S.  majestad  del  ^pador  nfo  sefk>r 

por  el  capitS  general  de  la  nueva  spafia  :  llamado  femSdo  cortes.  En 
la  ql  base  relaciö  dlas  tierras  y  providas  sin  cueto  q  hS  descubierto 
nuevamete  enel  yucatá  del  afto  de  xix  a  esta  pte  :  y  na  sometido  a  la 
corona  real  de  su  S.  M.  En  especial  haze  relaciö  de  ana  gridissima 
provicia  muy  rica  llanwda  Culiia  :  ela  ql  ay  muy  grides  ciudades  y  de 
maravillosos  edificios  :  y  de  grftdes  tratos  y  riqzas.  Entre  las  qles  ay 
una  mas  maravillosa  y  rica  q  todas  llamada  Timixtitfl :  q  esta  por 
maravillosa  arte  edificada  sobre  una  grade  laguna.  dela  ql  dudaa  y 
provicia  es  rey  un  grSdissimo  seftor  llamado  Muteefuma  :  dðde  le 
acaederö  al  capita  y  a  los  espafioles  espStosais  cosas  de  oyr.  Cuenta 
lar^mete  del  grSdissimo  sefiorio  del  dicho  Mutee^uma  y  de  sus  ritos  y 
oenmonias.  y  de  como  se  sirve.  [G.  L.  28  leaves,  sig.  a-d.  47  to 
49  lines  in  a  iiill  page.  On  the  Title  a  woodcut,  representing  the 
Emperor  Charles  V.  seated  on  a  Throne.] 

Lapresente  carta  de  relacionfue  impressa  en  la  muy  noble  &*  muy  leal 
ciudad  de  Sevilla :  por  Jacobo  crdberger  aleman,  A.  viii  tfías  de 
Ncviemhre,     AHo  deVi,  d.  &  xxii.     [November  8,  1522.]    fol. 

[C.  20.  e.  26.  (I.)— G.  6815.  (I.)  From  the  Library  of  the  Right 
Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.] 

88  a.  . — [Another    edition.]      Carta   de   reladon    embiada    a    su  S. 

majestad  del  Emperador  nuestro  sefior  por  el  Capitan  general  de  la 
nueva   Espafia :   llamado  Fernando  cortes,  etc,    [G.  L      28  leaves, 
sig.  a-d.    48  lines  to  a  full  page.     On  the  Title  is  a  woodcut,  repre- 
senting the  Emperor  Charles    V.,  with    a    suite    of  eight  persons, 
receiving  the  letter  from  a  messenger  with  five  companions.     Above 
the  dedication,  folio  I,  verso^  is  a  woodcut  of  Cortes,  and  two  of  his 
La  presente  cctrta  de  reladon  fue  impressa  in  la  muy  noble  &*  muy 
leal  ciudad  de  Caragofa :  por  George  Coci^  Aleman.      A,  v.  dias 
de  Enero,    AHo  cUu,  á.&  xxiii.     fol. 
[G.   681^.   (2.)     From  the  Library   of  the  Right   Hon.   Thomas 

89.  . — La  preclara  Narratione  di  Ferdinando  Cortese  deUa  Nuova 

Hispagna  del  Mare  Oceano,  al  Sacratissimo  &  Invictissimo  Carlo  di 
Romani  Imperatore  sempre  Augusto  Re  Dhispagna,  &  do  che  siegue, 
nell  afio  del  Signore  m.d.xx.  trasinessa  :  Nella  quale  si  cötðgono  molte 
coee  degne  di  sdenza,  &  ammiratione,  drca  le  2:ittadi  egregie  di  quelle 
Provincie  costumi  dhabitatori,  sacrifici  di  Fandulli,  &  Religiose  per- 
sone,  Et  massimamente  della  celebre  citta  Temixtitan,  &  varie  cose 
maravigliose  di  quella,  e  quali  diletteranno  mirabilmSte  il  lettore  per  il 
Dottore  Pietro  Savorgnano  Forojuliense  Del  Riverendo  Messer  Giovafii 
de  Revelles  Vescovo  di  Vienna  Secretario  dal  iddioma  Hispagniuolo  in 
lingua  latina.  Conversa  Nel  Anno  M.D.xxnii.  di  Primo  MarEo :  Hora 
nellestesso  Millesimo  di  xvii.  Agosto.  Voi  Omdidisaimi  lettori  legge- 
rete  con  dilettatione  &  piacere  grandissimo  la  pre&ta  Narratione  di 

BlBLlOGkAt>HY.  333 

Ferdinando  Corte  se  dalla  Facödia  latina  al  splSdore  della  lin^^a  vol- 
gare  p'  Messer  Nicolo  Libumio  cö  fidelta  &  diligeza  tradotta  al 
cömocto,  &  sodiffatione  de  glhonesti  &  virtuosi  ingegni. 

Stamyaia  in  Veneiia  per  Bernardino  de  Viano  de  Lexona  VercelUse, 
Ad  instantia  de  BaptUta  de  Pederzani  Briziani.  Anno  domini 
M.D.xxiiii.  Adi  XX.  Aiosto.  [August  20,  1524.]  4^ 
[9771.  b.  II.  With  the  rare  wood-cut  Plan  of  the  City  of  Mexico, 
and  a  lar^e  Printer's  Device,  an  elephant  carrying  a  castle,  on  a 
single  leaf,  following  the  Colophon. —G.  6763.  Wants  the  Plan. 
From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. — 1446. 
h.  12.  With  the  Book-plate  of  Augrustus  Frederick,  Duke  of 
Sussex.     Wants  the  Plan,  &  also  the  Pnnter*s  Device.] 

90.  . — Di  Fernando  Cortese  la  Seconda  Relatione  della  Nuova  Spagna. 

Perche  la  Prima  da  lui  &tta,  beache  da  noi  diligentemente  ricercata 
non  habbiamo  potuto  infino  a  hoggi  rétrovare.  Al  Sereniss,  et 
Invitiss.  Imperatore  Carlo  V.  Delia  Citth  della  Securezza  de  confini 
della  Nuova  Spagna  del  Mare  Oceano,  alii  30  ctOttobre^  1520.  (In 
"  Terzo  Volume  delle  Navigationi  et  Viaggi.  Raccolto  gia  da  M. 
Gio.  Battista  Ramusio."    fol.  225-254.) 

In  Venetia:  nella  Stamperia  d^ Guinti,  P Anno  UDixw,    fol. 

[G.  682a —From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.— 
679.  h.  10.  From  the  Library  of  the  Rev.  Clayton  Mordaunt 
Cracherode.  With  the  arms  and  cyphers  of  Jaques  Auguste  de 
Thou,  and  his  first  wife,  Marie  Barban9on.] 

91.  . — Lettere  di  Ferdinando  Cortes  al   Serenissimo  ed   Invittisimo 

Imperatore  Carlo  V.  Intomo  ai  fatti  della  Nuova  Spagna  o  Messico. 
Dalla  Cittá  della  Sicurezza  dei  Confini  della  Nuova  Spagna  del  Mare 
Oceano  ;  addi  30  ottobre  152a  (In  "  Raccoltadi  Viaggi  dalla  Scoperta 
del  Nuovo  Continente  fino  a'  di  nostri.  Compilata  da  F.  C.  Mar- 
mocchi."    torn.  II.     pp.  69-275.) 

FraUlli  Giachetti :  Prato,  1843.     8^ 
[1424.  i.  5.] 

92.  .— Femand    Cortez,    Voyageur    espagnol,    1519-1547.      [With  a 

French  translation  of  the  Second  Letter,  October  30,  1520.]  Biblio- 
gpiphie.  (In  *<  Voyageurs  Anciens  et  Modemes,  ou  Choix  des  Rela- 
tions de  Voyages  les  plus  intéressantes  et  les  plus  instructives  depuis  le 
cinquiéme  siécle  avant  Jesus — Christ  jusqu'  au  dix-neuviéme  siécle  avec 
Biographies,  Notes  et  Indications  Iconographiques  par  M.  Edouard 
Charton,  Redacteur  en  Chef  du  Magasin  Pittoresquey  Tom.  3. 
PP-  357-424) 

Aux  Bureaux  du  **  Magasin  Pittoresque*^ :  Paris,  1869.     8*. 
[206a  b.— 10027.  g.  2.] 

[Third  Letter.] 
May  15,  1522. 

93.  . — Carta  tcrcera  de  relacið  :  embiada  por  Femðdo  cortes  capitan 

&  justicia  mayor  del  ^catan  Ilamado  la  nueva  espána  del  mar  oceano  : 
al  muy  alto  y  potentissimo  cesar  &  ivictissimo  seAor  do  Carlos  empe- 
rador  semper  augusto  y  rey  de  espafia  nuestro  seAor :  de  las  cosas 
sucedidas  &  muy  dignas  de  admiracion  en  la  conquista  y  recuperacion 
de  la  muy  grande  &  maravillosa  ciudad  de  Temixtitan  :  y  de  las  otras 
provincias  a  ella  subjetas  que  se  rebelaron.  En  la  qual  ciudad  &  dichas 
provincias  el  dicho  capitan  y  espafioles  coniiguieron  grandes  y  sefialadas 
victorias  dignas  de  perpetua  memoria.     Assi  mesmo  naze  reladon  como 

334  BlBLlOGRAl»tíY. 

hS  descubierto  el  mar  del  Sur  :  y  otras  muchas  &  grSdes  proTÍndas  muy 
ricas  de  minas  de  oro :  y  perlas :  y  piedras  preciosas  :  &  aun  tienen 
noticia  que  ay  especeria.  [G.  L.  30  leaves,  sig.  a-d.  48  lines  in  a 
full  page.  With  a  woodcut  of  Charles  V.,  as  in  the  Second  Letter. 

Laþstnie  carta  eP  rtUuio  fue  impressa  i  la  muy  nobU  &*  muy  leal 
ciudad  d*  seviVa  porjacobo  crdberget  aiemð, :  acaáo  se  a.  xrx.  dias 
di  marco :  alio  if  mill  <5r»  quinietds  b*  xxiii.  [March  30,  1523.] 

[C.  20.  e.  26.  (2.)— G.  6815.  (3.)  From  the  Library  of  the  Right 
Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.] 

94.  .— Di  Fernando  Cortese  la  Terza  Relatione  della  Nuova  Spagna. 

Delia  Cittá  di  Cuiaacan  di  questa  sua  nuova  Spagna  del  mare  ueeanoy 
Alii  quindici  di  Maggio^  Vanno  del  Signore  1522.  (In  "Terzo 
Volume  delle  Navigationi  et  Viaggi.  Raccolto  gia  da  M.  Gio  Battista 
Ramusio."    fol.  254-284.) 

In  Venetia:  nella  Stamperia  de^Giunti,  PAnno  mdlxv.    fol. 
[G.  6820.— 679.  h.  10.] 

[Fourth  Lbttbr.] 
October  15,  1524. 

95.  . — La  quarta  relacion    q   Femfido  cortes  govemador  y  capitan 

general  por  su  majestad  en  la  nueva  Espafta  d'el  mar  oceano  embio  al 
muy  alto  &  muy  potentissimo  invictissimo  sefior  don  Carlos  emperador 
semper  augusto  y  rey  de  Espafia  nuestro  seftor  :  en  la  qual  estan  otras 
cartas  &  relaciones  que  los  capitanes  Pedro  de  alvarado  \  Diego  godoy 
embiaron  al  dicho  capitan  Fernardo  cortes.  [G.  L.  22  leaves,  the 
last  blank,  sig.  a-c.  50  lines  in  a  full  page.  On  the  Title  page  is  a 
woodcut  ornamental  border,  and  above  the  Title  a  double-headed  eagle, 
with  the  Royal  Arms  of  Spain,  and  the  Pillars  of  Hercules.] 

Fue  impressa  la  presente  carta  de  reUuion  en  la  ymperial  ciudad  de 
Toledo  por  Caspar  de  avila,  Acabo  se  a  veynte  dias  del  mes  de 
Octubre.  AHo  del  nascimiento  de  nuestro  sahadorjesu  Ckristo  de 
mil  &*  quinientos  ð^  veynte  y  cinco  anos,  [October  20,  1525.] 

[C.  20.  e.  26.  (3.)--G.  6815.  (4.)  From  the  Library  of  the  Right 
Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.] 

96.  . — Di  Fernando  Cortese  la  Quarta  Relatione  della  Nuova  Spagna. 

Dcdla  gran  cittá  di  Temis/itan  di  questa  nuova  Spagna  il  quindici 
d* Ottobre  del  i$2^  (In  "Terzo  Volume  delle  Navigationi  et  Viaggi. 
Raccolto  gia  da  M.  Gio.  Battista  Ramusio."    fol.  284-296.) 

In  Venetia :  nella  Stamperia  de  Giunti^  PAnno  mdlxv,     fol. 
[G.  6820.— 679.  h.  10.] 

[Fifth  Letter.] 
September  3,  1526. 

97.  .—The  Fifth  Letter  of  Heman  Cortes  to  the  Emperor  Charles  V., 

Containing  an  Account  of  his  Expedition  to  Honduras  in  1525-26. 
Translated  from  the  Original  Spanish  by  Don  Pascual  de  Gayángos. 
pp.  xvi.  156.  Hakluyt  Society  Publications.     First  Series.     Vol,  4a 

Hakluyt  Society:  London^  1868.     8^ 
[R.  Ac.  6172/35.J 


[Montezuma's  Presents.] 

98.  .—Inventory  of  Presents    of   Montezuma.       (In    **Colección  de 

Documentos  Ináitos  para  la  Historia  de  Espafía.*'    Tom.  i.     p.  461.) 

MadHd,  1842.     8*. 

99.  .—Inventory  of  Presents  of  Montezuma.     (In  "  Historia  Antigua 

de  Met^co  .  .  .  Escrita  por  D.  Francisco  Saverio  Clavigero,  y  tradu- 
cida  del  Italiano  por  Jose  Joaquin  de  Mora. 

Mexico^  1844.     8*. 

[This  Inventory  was  collated  in  1754  by  Juan  Batista  Mufioz  with  the 
copy  in  the  Manual  del  Tésorero  in  the  Casa  de  la  Contratacion  at 


100. . — The  Conquest  of  Mexico  by  Hernando  Cortes.      [With  ten 

Engravings.]  pp.  viii.  252.  (In  *'The  World  Displayed,  or,  A 
Curious  Collection  of  Voyages  and  Travels,  selected  from  the  Writers 
of  all  Nations.  [With  an  Introduction  by  Samuel  Johnson.]  .  .  .  The 
Fourth  Edition.     Vol.  11.) 

Printed  for  T.  Caman,  and  F,  Newhery^  Jun,^  ai  65  in  St  PauPs 

Church' Yard :  London^  MDCCLXXVII.    12'. 
[1424.  b.  2. — With  the  Book-plate  of  Mr.  Calverley.] 

loi.  . — The  Voyage  and  Expedition  of  H.  Cortes,  and  Conquest  of 

Mexico.     [With  a  Plate,  W.  G.  del.  I.  Ray  sc.]    pp.  60. 
London :  Printed  by  T.  Maiden^  Sherboum-Lane^  for  Ann  Lemoifu^ 
IVhite  Rose  Courts  Coleman-Streety  and  /.  Rœ^  No.  90,  Hounds- 
ditch,  [1806.]     I2^ 
[9771.  aa.  6.]    . 

102. . — Conquete  du  Pérou  [or  rather,  Mexico].     Par  Femand  Cortex. 

(In  Nouvelle  Bibliothéque  des  Voyages  Anciens  et  Modemes,  [Edited  by 
Auguste  Duponchel.]    Tom.  12.   pp.  78-130.) 

P.  Duniénil:  Paris,  [1842.]    8'. 

[1424.  e.  6.] 

103.  . — Sumario  de  la  Residenda  tomada  á    D.  Fernando  Cortes, 

Gobemador  y  Capitan  General  de  la  N.  E.,  y  á  otros  gobemadores  y 
oficiales  de  la  misma.  [1528- 1 537.]  Paleografiado  del  original  por  el 
Lie.  Ignacio  Lopez  Rayon.     (In  '*  Archivo  Mexicano.")    2  tom. 

Tipografiade  Vicente  Garcia  Torres:  Mexico,  1852-53.     8'. 
[9771.  c.  31.] 

104.  . — Bibliography, 

See  Cbarton,  Edouard.     1869. 

105.  ,— Biography, 

See  Trueba  y  Cosfo,  Joaquin  Telesfors  de.     1829. 

106.  See  Prescott,  William  Hickling.     1843. 



107.  See  Charton,  Edouard.     1869. 

108.  See  Helps,  ^iV Arthur,  K.CB,     1871. 

109.  See  Haebler,  Konrad.     1887. 


iia  . — Conquest  of  Mexico, 

See  Lopez  de  Gómaia,  Francisco.    1552. 

111.  5«^  Anghien,  Pietro  Martire  d*.     1577. 

112.  5tfi  Campbell,  Joha     1748. 


113.  See  Dilworth,  W.  H.,  A.  A/.     1759. 

114.  5'<fii  Curths,  Carl,     1828. 



See  Cubitt,  Geoige,  IVesleyan  Minister,     1848. 


See  D.,  H.  P.  [i.e.  Henry  Peter  Dunster.]     i860. 

See  Dalton,  William,  Miscellamous  Writer.     1862. 

Su  Codex  Troano- Americano.     1897. 


See  Lasso  de  la  Vega,  Gabriel.     1601. 

120.  . — Eroismo. 

See  Caballero,  Ramon  Diosdado.     1806. 

121.  .—Hechos, 

See  Lasso  de  la  Vega,  Gabriel.     1588. 

122.  .—Naves. 

See  Fernandez  Duro,  Cesáreo.     1882. 

123.  . — Report  of  Ahmrado. 

See  Alvarado,  Pedro  de.     1565. 


124.  .—Report  of  Godoy.  ^ 

See  Godoy,  Diego.     1565. 


125.  . — Ronta$ues  in  which  Cortes  appears. 

See  Bird,  Robert  Montgomery.     1835. 

126.  ,—  Viaje. 

See  Soto  Hall,  Maximo.     190a 

127.  . —  Voyc^es  ^  Discoveries. 

See  Britton,  John.     1799. 

128.  Cubitt,  George,    Wesley  an  Minister.— CoiitSy  or,   The  Discovery  and 

Conquest   of  Mexico.      By  George  Cubitt.      (Memorable  Men  and 
Memorable  Events.)    pp.  160. 

/ohnMasoti:  Londony  1848.     12*. 

[1 156.  a.  18.] 


129.  . — Coités,  or,  The   Disoovery  and    Conquest  of  Mexico.      By 

George  Cubitt.  [With  an  Illustration  of  the  Colossal  Head  at  Izanial.] 
pp.  142. 

H^esleyan  Conference  Office:  London^  [1878.]    8*. 
[9772.  aa.  5.] 

130.  Ciirths,   Carl. — Die  Eroberung    Mexico's  durch    Hernandez    Cortes. 

Historisches  Gemalde  fUr  die  Jugend.  Von  Carl  Curths,  Verfasser  der 
Fortsetzung  der  von  Schiller  begonnencn  Geschichte  des  Ab£&lls  der 
▼ereinigten  Niederlande.  Zweite  Ausgabe.  [With  a  prefiu:e  by 
August  RUcker.]    pp.  xxx.  277. 

August  Rucker:  Berlin,  [1828.]    8*. 

[1446.  h.  3.  A  new  issue  of  the  first  edition  of  1818,  with  a  new 

131.  D.,  H.  P.  [i.i.,  Henrt  Peter  Dunstbb.]    Conquest  of  Mexico  and 

Peru,  by  Hernando  Cortes  and  Fiands  Pizarro.  Illustrated.  [By 
H.  P.  D.,  úe.  Henry  Peter  Dunster.]    pp.  295. 

James  Blackwood :  London,  [  1 86a  ]    8^. 

[9772.  a.  12.] 

132.  Daltoiif   William,  Miscellaneous   Writer,— CoTié&  and  Pizarro.     The 

Stories  of  the  Conauests  of  Mexico  and  Peru.  With  a  sketch  of  the 
early  adventures  of  the  Spaniards  in  the  New  World.  Re-told  for 
youth  by  William  Dalton  .  .  .  With  Illustrations  by  John  Gilbert, 
pp.  X.  499. 

Griffin,  Bohn,  and  Co, :  London,  1862  [1861].     8*. 

[9781.  a.  15.] 

132a.  , — [Another  edition.]    Stories  of  the  Conquests  of  Mexico  and 

Peru  ...  By  William  Dalton  .  .  .  With  Illustrations  by  Godwin, 
pp.  viii.  499. 

fames  Blackwood  of  Co, :  London,  [1872.]    8*. 
[9772.  aaa.  4a] 

133.  Dias,  Juan,  Clerigo,—Qm  cominda  lo  Itinerario  de  Lisola  de  luchathan 

novamente  ritrovata  per  il  Signor  loan  de  Grisalve  Capitan  Generale  de 
Larmata  del  Re  dv  Spagna  &  per  il  suo  Capellano  composta. 

(In  "  Itinerario  de  Ludovico  de  Varthema  Bolc^ese  ne  lo  Egypto 
ne  la  Suria  ne  la  Arabia  deserta  &  Felice  ne  la  Persia  ne  la  India  ne  la 
Ethiopia.  La  sede  el  vivere  &  costui  de  la  p'fate,  puicie.  £t  al  p'sente 
agiötovi  alctie  isole  novamðte  ritrovate.") 

Im^tsso  in  Vinetiaper  Zorti  di  Rusconi  Milanese,  nelP  anno  delta 
/ncamatione  del  nostra  Signore  Jesu  Christo,  M.D.XX.  adi  ill.  de 
Marzo,     Regnando  lo  inclito  Principe  Duca  de  VenetUu     1 2"*. 
[C.  32.  a.  36.— Purchased  June  11,  1868.— Registro.     A— N.    Tutti 
sono  Quademi.] 

134.  . — Qui  cominda  lo  Itinerario  de  Lisola  de  luchatan  novamente 

ritrovata  per  il  Signor  loan  de  Grisalve  Capitan  Generale  de  Larmata 
del  Re  de  spagna  &  p'  il  suo  Capellano  cöposta.  (In  ''  Itinerario  de 
Ludovico  de  Varthema  Bolognese,*'  etc, ) 

Impresso  in  Venetia  Nell  anno  della  Incamatione  del  nostro  Signore 
/esu  Christo  Del  M.D.xxvi.  Adi  xvi.  Aprile,  Regnando  Lo  Inclito 
Principe  Andrea  Griti,     I2*. 

[10027.  aa.  4  Purchased  July  6,  1876.— With  the  Book-plate  of 
I.  Lee,  of  Doctors'  Commons.] 



135.  . — Qui  cominda  lo  Itinerario  de  Usola  de  luchatan  novamente 

ritrovata  per  ii  Signor  loan  de  Grisalve  Capitan  Generale  de  Lannata 
del  Re  de  Spaena  &  p*  il  stto  Capellano  oöposta.  (In  '<  Itinerario  de 
Ludovico  de  Varthema  Bolognese,"  etc.    foi.  89-100.) 

Stampaio  in  Vinegia  per  Francesco  di  AUssandro  Bindane^  &* 
Mapheo  Pasini  compeati^  a  santo  MoysecU  segno  de  Langelo  Raphael^ 
ml  M.  D.  XXXV.  del  nuse  ctAprile,     1 2*. 

[0.  7062.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. 
On  the  last  leaf  is  the  Printer's  Device,  the  Archangel  Raphael  & 
Tobias. — 790  a.  12.     Damaged,  and  imperfect.] 

136.  .— Itméraire  du  Voyaf^e  de  la  Flotte  du  Roi  Catholiqne  á  Tile  de 

Yucatan  dans  I'lnde.  Fait  en  l*an  15 18,  soos  les  ordres  du  capitaine 
general,  Juan  de  Grijalva.  Rédigé  et  dédié  á  S.  A.  [Don  Diego 
Colomb]  par  le  chapelain  en  chef  [Juan  Diaz]  de  ladite  flotte.  (In 
"  Voyages,  Relations  et  Mémoíres  Originaux  pour  senrir  á  THistoire 
de  la  Découverte  de  TAmerique.  Publiés  poiir  la  premiere  fois  en 
Francab  par  H.  Temaux-Compana. — Tom.  x.  Recueil  de  Pieces  rela- 
tives á  la  Conquéte  du  Mexique.     Inédit."    pp.  1-47.) 

Arthur  Bertrand:  Paris ^  MDCCCXXXVIII.     8*. 
[G.  15812.     From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. 
—1 196.  L  7.] 

137.  . — Itinerario  del  Viag^o  che  la  Flotta  del  Re  Cattolico  feoe  nel 

1 5 18  nell'  Yucatan  sotto  gh  ordini  del  Capitano  Generale  Giovanni  di 
Grijalva.  C^mpilato  e  dedicato  a  S.  A.  Don  Diego  Colombo  Ammi- 
nglio  e  Vicere  delle  Indie  da  Giovanni  Diaz,  Primo  Oppellano  ddUa 
Flotta  Medesima.  (In  "  Raccolta  di  Viagp  dalU  Scoperta  del  Nuovo 
Continente  fino  a'  di  nostri.  Compilatada  FT  C.  MarmocchL**  Tom.  1 1. 
PP-  43-^7) 

Fratelli  Giachetti :  Prato,  1843.     8°. 
[1424.  i.  5.] 

138.  . — Itinerario  de  la   Armada   del    Rey   Católico  á  la  Isla    de 

Yucatan,  en  la  India,  el  afio  15 18,  en  la  c|ue  foe  por  0>mandante  y 
Capitan  General  Tuan  de  Grijalva.  Escnto  para  Su  Alteza  por  el 
Capellan  Mayor  dEe  la  dicha  Armada. — Itinerario  de  larmata  oel  Re 
CathoHco,  etc,  (Texto  italiano  y  traducdon. — In  "Colecdon  de 
Documentos  para  la  Historia  de  Mexico.  Publicada  por  Joaquin 
Garcia  Icazbalceta."    Tom.  i.    pp.  281-308.) 

Lihreriade/.  M.  Andrade:  Mexico,  1858.     8'. 
[9771.  f.  15.] 

139.  Dias  del  Castillo,  Bemal.— Carta  de  Bemal   Diaz   del  Castillo  al 

Emperador  D.  Carlos  dando  cuenta  de  los  abusos  que  se  cometian  en 
la  gobernacion  de  las  provincias  del  Nuevo  Mundo. — Santiago  de 
GucUimala,  22  de  febrero  de  1552.     (In  Cartas  de  Indias,     pp.  3^44.) 

Imprenta  de  Manuel  G.  Hernandez :  Madrid,  1877.     fol. 

[1857.  b.  5.— Maps  36.  e.  I.] 

140.  ^.— Carta  de  Bernal  Diaz  del  Castillo  al  Rey  D.  Felipe  II.,  en  la 

que  denuncia  algunos  abusos  cometidos  con  los  indios,  y  pide  se  le 
nombre  fiel-ejecutor  de  Guatimala,  en  atendon  á  los  servicios  que 
expone.  Guatimala,  20  de  febrero  de  1558.  [Facsimile  £.]  (In 
Cartas  de  Indias,     pp.  45-47,  &  Facsimile  £,  6  pages.) 

Imprenta  de  Manuel  G,  Hemandet :  Madrid,  1877.     fol. 
[1857.  b.  5.— Maps  36.  e,  I.] 


I4i»  .— Historia  Verdadera  de  la  Conquista  de    la    Nueva-Espafla. 

Escrita  por  el  Capitan  Bernal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  uno  de  sus  Conquista- 
dores.  Sacada  á  lur  por  el  P.  M.  Fr.  Alonso  Remon,  Predicador,  y 
Coronista  General  del  Orden  de  Nuestra  Sefiora  de  la  Merced 
Redempdon  de  Cautívos.  A  la  Catholica  Mage<itad  del  Mayor 
Monarca  Don  Felipe  Quarto,  Rey  de  las  Espafías  y  Nuevo  Muivlo,  N. 
Sefior.    ff.  254. 

En  Madrid:  en  la  Imprenta  del  Reynoy  Afto  de  1632.    fol. 

[G.  6417.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.— 
K.  145  e.  18.  From  the  Library  of  King  George  HI. —674.  k.  16. 
From  the  Library  of  the  Rev.  Clayton  Mordaunt  Cracherode.] 

142.  . — Historia  Verdadera   de  la  Conquista  de  la  Nueva  Espaila. 

Escrita  por  el  Capitan  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  uno  de  sus  Con- 
auistadores.  Sacada  á  luz  por  el  P.  M.  Fr.  Alonso  Remon,  Pre- 
dicador y  Coronista  General  del  Orden  de  N.  S.  de  la  Merced, 
Redencion  de  Cautivos.  A  la  Catholica  Magestad  del  Mayor  Monarca 
D.  Filipe  IV.,  Rey  de  las  EspaAas  y  Nuevo  Mundo,  N.  S.     ff.  256. 

En  Madrid;  en  la  Emprenta  del  Reyno,  [1632.]    fol. 

[601.  1.  10.  With  an  engraved  pictorial  Title-Pace  by  J.  de 
Courbes.— 601.  1.  24.  Wants  the  Title- Page  and  preliminary 
leaves.— fol.  255,  256  contain  a  new  chapter  :  **  Este  capitulo, 
que  es  el  ultimo  del  original,  por  parecer  ascusado,  se  dexo  de 
imprimir ;  y  oy  a  peticion  de  un  Cunoso  se  aftade.] 

143.  . — Historia  Verdadera  de  la  Conquista  de  la  Nueva  Espafta. 

Escrita  por  el  Capitan  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  uno  de  sus  Conquista- 
dores.     4  torn. 

En  Madrid:  en  la  Imprenta  de  Don  Benito  Cano,  AHú  de  1795, 

1796.    8". 
[1 197.  b.  II,  12.] 

144.  .—The  True  History  of  the  Conquest  of  Mexico.     By  Captain 

Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  one  of  the  Conquerors.  Written  in  the 
year  1568  .  .  .  Translated  from  the  origmal  Spanish  bv  Maurice 
Keatinge,  Esq.  [With  a  plan  of  the  City  and  Lake  of  Mexico.] 
pp.  viii.  515. 

London:  Printed  for  J,  Wright  ^  Piccadilly ^  by  John  Dean^  High 
Street:  Congleton,  1800.     4  . 

[G.  4293.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville. 
K.  145.  d.  I.] 

145.  .—The  True  History  of  the  Conquest  of  Mexico.     By  Captain 

Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  one  of  the  Con()uerors.  Written  in  the 
year  1568  .  .  .  Translated  from  the  original  Spanish  by  Maurice 
Keatinge,  Eiq.     Second  Edition.     2  tom. 

Gushing  of*  Appleton :  Salem^  1803.     8^ 
[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

146.  .—History  of  the  Discovery  and  Conquest  of  Mexico.    Written  in 

the  year  1 568,  by  Captain  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  one  of  the  Conquerors. 
[Based  on  the  translation  by  Maurice  Keatinge,  1800.]    In  "  A  General 



History  and  Collection  of  Voyaees  and  Travels  ...     By  Robert  Kerr, 
F.R.S.   and  F.A.S.,  Edin."    Vols.  3,  4-      Pt  2.      Bk.  2.     Ch.  5.— 
Sect.  1-24. 
Edinbuiy^h :  Printed  by  George  Ramsay  and  Company^  for  William 
Blackwood^   South  Bridge  Street;  J,  Murray,   Fleet   Street,  i?. 
Baldwin,  Paternoster  Pow^  London;  and  J,  Cumming,  Dublin. 
1811-12.     8*. 
[1045.  d-  3»  4.] 

147.  . — DenkwUrdigkeiten  des  Hanptmanns  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo, 

oder  Wahrhafte  (^schichte  der  Entdeckung  und  Erobenm^  von 
Nea-Spanien,  von  einem  der  Entdecker  und  Eroberer  selbst  geschneben. 
Aus  dem  Spanischen  ins  Deutsche  ttbersetzt,  und  mit  dem  Leben 
des  Verfassera,  mit  Anmerkungen  und  andem  Zugaben  versehen  von 
Ph.  J.  von  Rehfnes.     4  Bde. 

Bei  Adolph  Marcus :  Bonn,  1838.     8*. 
[9771.  b.  17.] 

147  a.  .—DenkwUrdigkeiten,  &c.    Zweite  vermehrte  Ausgabe.    4  Bde. 

Adolph  Marcus :  Bonn,  1843-44.     8^. 
[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

148.  ^,— The  Full  and  True  History  of  the  Conquest  of  Mexico,  by 

Cortes  ...  By  Captain  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  one  of  the  Con- 
querors.    Trandated  ...  by  Arthur  Prynne. 

JoelMunsell:  Albany,  [1839.]    8*. 

[Not  in  the  British  Museum.— Jos.  Sabin.    No.  19982.] 

149.  . — The  Memoirs  of  the  Conquistador  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo. 

Written  by  himself.  Containing  a  true  and  full  account  of  the  Discovery 
and  Conquest  of  Mexico  and  New  Spain.  Translated  from  the  origina 
Spanish  by  John  Ingram  Lockhart,  F.R.A.S.,  Author  of  *' Attica  and 
Athens."    2  vols. 

y.  Hatchard  and  Son  ;  187,  Piccadilly:  London,  MDCCCXUV.     8'. 
[1197.  h.  20,  21.] 

150.  . — Die  Entdeckung  und  Eroberung  von  Mexico.   Nach  des  Bemal 

Diaz  del  Castillo  gleichzeitiger  Erzáhlung  bearbeitet  von  der  Ueber- 
setzerin  des  Vasari.     Mit  Vorwort  von  Karl  Ritter.    2  Bde. 

Friedrich  und  Andreas  Perthes :  Hamburg  und  Got  ha,  1848.     8*. 
[9771.  b.  29.] 

151.  . — Verdadera  Historia  de  los  Sucesos  de  la  Conquista  de  la 

Nueva-Espafia.  Por  el  Capitan  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  uno  de  sus 
Conquistadores.  (In  "Biolioteca  de  Autores  Espafíoles,  desde  la 
formacion  del  lenguaje  hasta  nuestros  dias.  Historiadores  Primitives 
de  Indias.  (Tom.  il.)  Colecdon  dirigida  é  ilustrada  por  Don  Enrique 
de  Vedia."    Tom.  xxvi.    pp.  v.-viii.  1-317.) 

Imprentay  Estereotipla  de  M.  Revadeneyra:  Madrid,  1853.     8'. 
[2044.  a,] 

151a.  .—[A  Reprint.] 

Madrid,  1877.     8'. 

[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

fitBLIOGRAPHY.  54t 

152. .— Historia  Verdadera  de  la  Conquista  de  la  Nueva  Espafia. 

Escrita  por  el  Capitan  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  uno  de  sus  Conquista- 
dores.    4  torn. 

Tipografla  <U  R,  Rafael^  Calk  de  Cadma^  número   13 :   Mexico^ 

1854.     8^. 
[^71.  ec.  8.] 

153.  . — Verdadera  Historia  de  los  Sacesos  de  la  Conquista  de  la  Nueva 

Espafia.     Por  Bernal  Diaz  del  Castillo.     3  torn. 

Tejado :  Madrid^  1862.     8*. 
[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

154.  . — Historia  Verdadera  de  la  Conquista  de  la  Nueva  Espafia. 

Escrita  por  el  Capitan  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  uno  de  sus  conquista- 
dores.     {Biblioteca  Histárica  de  la  Iberia,     Tom.  4-6.)    3  torn. 

Impnnta  de  /.  Escalantey  Comp,,  Bajos  de  San  Agustin  nútn,  I.  : 

MixUo,  1870.     8^. 
[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

155.  . — Histoire  Véridique  de  la  Conquéte  de  la  Nouvelle-Espa|rne. 

Écrite  par  le  Capitaine  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  Tun  de  ses  Conquista- 
dores.    Traduction  par  D.  Jourdanet.     2  torn. 

Lahure:  Paris,  1876.     8*. 

[Not    in    the    British    Museum. — 250   copies   printed   for    private 

156.  — . — Histoire  Véridioue  de  la  Conquéte  de  la  Nouvelle-Esptf^e. 

Écrite  par  le  Capitaine  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  Tun  de  ses  Conquista- 
dores.  Traduction  par  D.  Jourdanet.  Deuxiéme  edition  corrigée, 
précédée  d'une  préfisice  nouvelle,  accompagnée  de  notes,  et  suivie  dMme 
etude  sur  les  sacrifices  humains  et  I'anthrophagie  chez  les  Azt^ues. 
[With  a  list  of  1377  Conquistadores,  and  5  Maps.]    pp.  zxxii.  928. 

G.  Masson :  Paris,  hdcclxxvii.    8*. 

[9772.  f.  4.] 

157.  . — Véridiíjue  Histoire  de  la  Conquéte  de  la  Nouvelle- Espagne. 

Par  le  Capitaine  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  Tun  des  Conquerants. 
Traduite  de  I'espagnol  avec  une  introduction  et  des  notes  par  Jose  Maria 
de  Heredia.    4  torn. 

Alpkonse  Lemerre :  Paris,  1877-87.     8*. 
[9771.  bb.  2.] 

158.  . — Iljusagi  iratok  tára.     Az  orsz.  kozepisk.  tanár^yesulet  kiad- 

ványa.  Kilián  Fr.  biz.  Franklin  társulat  nyomása.  Szerk.  dr.  Kármán 
Mór.  IV.  Castilloi  Diaz  Bemal.  Mexico  felfedezese  es  meghoditása. 
Atdolgozta  dr.  Brózik  Károly.     pp.  iv.  194. 

Franklin:  Budapest,  1878.     12*. 
[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

159*  .—Historia  Verdadera  de  la  Conquista  de  la  Nueva  Espafia. 

Escrita  por  el  Capitan  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  uno  de  sus  Conquista- 
deors.     3  torn. 

Tipografla  de  Angel  Bassols  y  Hemianos,  Segunda  ccUle  de  Mesones, 

num,  22 ;  Mixtco,  1891-92.     8*. 
[Not  in  the  British  Museum.] 

34^  BIBLtOGRAt»HY.  < 

1 60.  . — ^Torténdmi  Kon^tár.    Franklin,  társulat.   Corlez  HenuDdo,  1 

Mexico  meghóditoja.    Diaz  Benud  utin  elmeséli  Gaal  Mozes.    (No.  86  ^; 

of  the  Collection.)    pp.124.  Í 

Franklin  társuUU :  Budi^tf  i%9^     I2*.  ' 

[Not  in  the  British  Mosetim.] 

161.  . — Historia  Verdadera  de  la  Conquista  de  la  Nueva  Espafia.     Por 

Bernal  Diaz  del  Castillo,  uno  de  sos  Conquistadores.  Unica  edidan 
hecha  segun  el  Códice  Antögiafo.  La  pubhca  Genaro  Garcia.  (Biblio- 
grafia. )  [With  a  Portrait,  and  coat  of  arms,  of  Bemal  Diaz  del  Castillo.] 
2  torn. 

Oficina  Tip^rdfica  de  la  SécrelaHa  de  Fomento :  Méxicú^  1904.     8*. 
[2398.  g.  5.] 

162.  Dias  de  la  Calle,  Juan. —Memorial  Informatorio  al  Rey  Nuestro  SeOor, 

en  su  Real  y  Supremo  Conseio  de  las  Indias,  Camara,  y  Junta  de 
Guerra.  En  Manos  del  Sefior  Tuan  Baptista  Saenz  Navarrete,  Cftval- 
lero  de  la  Orden  de  Alcantara,  de  su  Consejo,  su  Secretario  en  él,  y  el 
de  la  Camara,  y  Junta.  Contiene  lo  que  su  Magestad  provee  en  su 
Cösejo,  y  Junta,  y  por  las  dos  Secretarias  de  la  Nueva  E^MfiAf  y  Pin!if 
Ecclesiastico,  Secular,  Salarios,  Estipendios,  y  Presidios,  su  tíente,  y 
Costa,  y  de  que  Cajas,  y  Hacienda  Real  se  paga ;  valor  de  las  Enoo- 
miendas  de  Indios,  y  otras  cosas  curiosas,  y  necessarias.  Por  Juan  Diez 
de  la  Calle.    ff.  32. 

\^Madrid^  Afio  de  mdcxxxxv.     4*. 

[K.  279.  h.  25.  (I.)    From  the  Library  of  King  George  IIL] 

163.  . — Memorial  y  Noticias  Sacras,  y  Reales  del  Imperio  de  las  Indias 

Occidentales.  Al  Muy  Catolico,  Piadoso,  y  Poderoso  Sefior  Rey  de  las 
Espaftas,  y  Nuevo  Mundo,  D.  Felipe  IV.,  N.  S.  en  su  Real  y  Supremo 
Conseio  de  las  Indias,  Camara,  y  lunta  de  Guerra  en  manos  ae  Joft 
BaptisU  Saenz  Navarrete,  Cavallerode  la  Ordi  Militar  de  Alcantara,  de 
su  Consejo,  y  su  Secretario  en  el,  y  en  el  de  la  Camara,  y  lunta  :  Con- 
firmador  de  los  privilegios  Redes  de  Castilla.  Comprehende  lo 
Eclesiastico,  Secular,  PoUtico,  y  Militar,  que  por  su  Secretaria  de  la 
Nueva- Espafia  se  provee  :  Presidios,  gente,  y  costas,  valor  de  las 
Encomiendas  de  Indios,  y  otras  cosas  curiosas,  necesrias  [xm*],  y  dignas 
de  saberse.  Escriviale  por  el  afio  de  1646  Juan  Diaz  de  la  Calle, 
Oficial  Segundo  de  la  misma  Secretaria.     if.  183.  5.  8. 

[Madrid,  1646.]    4^ 

[K.  279.  h.  25.  (2.)— 798.  f.  3.] 

164.  Dilworth,  W.  H.,  A,M.—T\it   History  of  the  Conouest  of  Mexico. 

By  the  celebrated  Hernan  Cortes.  Containing  a  Faithful  and  Enter- 
taining Detail  of  all  his  Amazing  Victories,  in  that  vast  Empire, 
its  Laws,  Customs,  Religions,  &c.  A  Work  abounding  with  Strokes 
of  Generalship,  and  the  most  refined  Maxims  of  Civil  Policy. 
To  which  is  added,  The  Voyage  of  Vasca  de  Gama,  extracted  from 
Osorio,  Bishop  of  Sylves.  Published  for  the  Improvement  and  Enter- 
tainment of  the  British  Youth  of  both  Sexes.  By  W.  H.  Dilworth,  A.M. 
pp.  I -127. 

Printed  for  IViliiam  Anderson,  ai  the  Oxfrrd-Tkeaire,  PaUr-noaer- 
Row:  London,  MDCCLIX.     I2^ 

[9772.  aa.  13.    Wants  all  after  page  127.] 


165.  Diiiigter»  Henry  Peter. — Conqaest  of  Mexico  and  Peru,  by  Hernando 

Cortes  and  Francis  Pizarro.  Illustrated.  [By  H.  P.  D.,  i.e.  Henry 
Peter  Dunster.]    pp.  295. 

fames  Blackwood:  London,  [i860.]    8^. 

[9772.  a.  12.] 

166.  Dtmaix,  Guillelmo.— The  Monuments  of  New  Spain.     By  M.  Dupaix. 

mth  their  respective  scales  of  measurement  and  accompanying  descrip- 
tions.    (In  Aglio,  Augustine:  Antiquities  of  Mexico,     vols.  4,  6.) 

A,  Aglio:  London,  1830.     fol. 

[564.  h.  4,  6.] 

167.  Duran,  Diego. — Historia  de  las  Indias  de  Nueva-Espafla  y  Islas  de 

Tierra  Firme.  Por  el  Padre  Fray  Diego  Duran,  Religioso  de  la  Orden  de 
Predicadores,  Escritor  del  siglo  xvi.  La  publica  con  un  atlas  de 
[66  coloured]  estampas,  notas  é  ilustradones  Jose  F.  Ramirez,  Individuo 
de  varias  Sociedades  Literarias  Nacionales  y  extranjeras.  [Tom.  2. 
edited  by  Gumesindo  Mendoza,  Director  del  Moseo  Nacional,  Mexico.] 
2  torn. 
Imprenta  def.  ALAndradey  F,  Escalante  ;  Ignado  EsccUante:  Mexico, 
1867-80.    4*. 

[9771.  g.  8.] 

168.  Encyclopedias.  —  Dicdonario  Enciclopedico  Hispano  •  Americano  de 

Literatura,  Ciendas  y  Artes.    Edicion  profiisamente  ilustrada.    25  torn. 
Montaner y  Simán :  Barcelona,  1887-99.    4''* 
[2103.  c,  d.] 

169.  Fernandez  de  Echeverria  7  Veytia,  Mariano.— Historia  Antigua  de 

Méjico.  Escrita  por  el  Lie.  D.  Mariano  Veytia.  La  publica  con 
varias  notas  y  un  apendice  el  C.  F.  Ortega.  [With  a  portrait  of  the 
Author.]    3  torn. 

Imprenta  a  Cargo  defuan  Ojeda :  Mijico,  1836.     8°. 

[9771.  a.  n.] 

17a  Fernandez  de  Oviedo  7  Valdét,  Gonzalo.— Oviedo  de  la  natural 
hystoria  de  las  Indias.    G.  L.    Pt.  i.    if.  52. 
Por  industria  de  maestre  Remð  de  Petras :  en  la  cibdad  de  Toledo, 

MDXXVI.     fol. 
[G.  6268.— From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.— 
With  a  large  plate  of  the  arms  of  Charles  V.  on  the  title-page. — 
795.   1.   17.   (I.)— 982.   i.   9.     From  the  Library  of  Sir  Joseph 

171.  . — La  historia  general  de  las  Indias.      (Escripta  por  el  capitan 

gon^alo  hemandez  de  Oviedo  y  Valdes.)    If.  193. 

En  la  emprlta  defuan  Cromberger :  Semlla,  1535.  fol. 
[C.  20.  d.  4. — From  the  Library  of  Sir  Joseph  Banks.— With  a  finely 
engraved  title-page,  with  th%  arms  of  Charles  V.,  and  the  Pillars  of 
HerculeSf  surrounded  by  an  ornamental  border.  On  fol.  cxdii  is 
the  autograph  signature  of  the  author,  and  on  the  verso  is  a  large 
plate  of  the  author's  coat  of  arms.] 

344  fiíBLÍOGRAPtíY. 

172.  . — Coronica  de  Us  Indias.    La  hystoría  general  de  las  Indias  agom 

nuevamente  impresa  corregida  y  emendada.  (Libros  de  los  infortomos 
y  naufragios  de  casos  acaeddos  en  las  mares  de  las  Indias,  yslas  y  tíena 
firme  del  mar  oceano,  con  el  qual  se  da  fin  a  la  primera  parte  de  la 
general  &  natural  h^toria  de  las  Indias. — Libro  xx.  De  la  segunda 
parte  de  la  general  historia  de  las  Indias  .  .  .  que  trata  del  estrecho  de 
Magallans.)  Y  con  la  conquista  del  Peru  [per  Francisco  de  Xéies}. 
G.  L.  Pts.  I,  a. 
Juan  de  Junta:  Salamanca^  1 547  ;  Francisco  Fernandez  de  Cordova: 

Valladolidj  1557.  fol. 
C.  33.  m.  3.  (i.) — ^This  work  was  arranged  for  publication  in  three 
parts,  forming  together  50  Libros,  numbered  consecutively.  The 
Lilfro  de  los  infortunios  y  naufragiosy  of  which  chapters  i-xi  only 
are  here  printed  with  Part  I,  was  to  form  Libro  L.  No  more  was 
published  after  Book  i  of  Part  2  which  forms  "  Libro  xx"  of  the 
entire  work.  The  Conquista  del  Peru  was  bound  up  with  this 
edition. — K.  146.  e.  10.  From  the  Library  of  King  George  III. 
Another  copy  of  Part  i. — G.  6269.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right 
Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.  Another  copy  of  Part  xi. — On  the  Title- 
page  of  Part  I  is  a  large  plate  of  the  arms  of  Charles  V.,  with  the 
Pillars  of  Hercules.] 

173-  Feraandex  Dnro,  Cesáreo.— Las  Joyas  de  Isabel  la  Católica,  las  Naves 
de  Cortes,  v  el  Salto  de  Alvarado.     Epistola  dirigida  al  Ilmo  Sefior 
Don  Juan  de  Dios  de  la  Rada  y  Delgado  por  Cesáreo  Fernandez  Duro. 
PP-  S3- 
Imprenta  de  Manuel  G.  Hemandti :  Madrid,  1882.    8°. 
[918a  ff.  6.] 

174.  Fernandez  Leal,  Manuel,  Ministro  de  Fomento,—C6^ot  Fernandez 

Leal.  Publicado  por  el  Dr.  Antonio  Pefiafiel.  pp.  8.  14  Plates,  12  in 

Oficina  Tipograficade  laSecreta^iade  Fomento:  Mexico,  1895.     ^'^ 

[1701.  c.  7.] 

175.  Franceaco,  de  Bologna,  Monk,—\jt\Xx^  du  Reverend  Pére  Francesco  de 

Bologne,  écrite  de  la  ville  de  Mexico  dans  l*Inde,  ou  la  Nouvelle- 
Espagne,  au  Reverend  Pére  Clement  de  Monélia,  Provincial  de 
Bologne,  et  á  tous  les  reverends  péres  de  cette  province.  Traduite  en 
langue  vulgaire  par  un  frérc  dudit  ordre  de  ^Observance.  Venise :  de 
Vlmprimerie  de  Paulo  Danza.  (In  '^  Voyages,  Relations,  et  Mémoires 
Originaux  pour  servir  á  I'Histoire  de  la  Découverte  de  TAmérique. 
Publiés  pour  la  premiere  fois  en  Fran9ais  par  H.  Temaux-Compans. — 
Tom.  X.  Recueil  de  Pieces  relatives  á  la  Conquéte  du  Mexique. 
Inédit."    pp.  205-221.) 

Arlhus  Bertrand:  Paris,  MDCCCXXXVIII.     8'. 

[G.  1 581 2.  From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Gren- 
ville.—1 196.  I.  7.] 

176.  . — Lettera  del  Reverendo  Padre  Francesco  da  Bologna,  scritta 

dalla  Cittá  di  Messico  nell'  India  o  Nuova  Spagna  al  Reverendo  Padre 
Clemente  da  Monelia,  Provindale  di  Bologna,  ed  a  tutti  i  reverendi 
Padri  di  auella  provincia  tradotta  in  lingua  volgare  da  un  Frate  dello 
stesso  Ordine  dell'  Osservanza.  (In  "  Raccolta  di  Viaggi  dalla  Scoperta 
del  Nuovo  Continente  fino  á  di  nostri.  Compilata  da  F.  C.  Mar- 
mocchi."    tom.  11.   pp.  547-558.) 

Fratelli  Giachetti:  Praia,  1843.    8^ 
[1424.  i.  5.] 

BlBLlOGRAt^HV.  345 

177.  Garda,  Genaro.— Carácter  de  la  Conquista  Espafiola  en  America  y  en 

Mexico.  Segun  los  Textos  de  los  Historiadores  Primitivos.  Por 
Genaro  Gard£.     pp.  456. 

Oficina  Tipográfica de  la  SecreiaHa  de  Fomento :  Mexico^  190 1.     8*. 

[9770.  h.  12.] 

178.  . — £1  Plan  de  Independenda  de  la  Nueva  Espafla  en  1808.    Por 

Genaro  Garcia.    [With  a  Bibliography.]    pp.  72. 

Imprmta  del  Museo  NacUmal :  Mexico ^  1903.    fol. 
[9770.  i.  13. — No.  114  of  150  copies.] 

179.  Garda,  Genaro,  and  Pereyra,  Carlos. — Documentos  Inéditos  ó  muy 
Raros  para  la  Historia  de  Mexico.  Publicados  por  Genaro  Garda  y 
Carlos  Pereyra.    Tom.  i-i6,  etc, 

Libreriadela  Fda.  de  Ch,  Bouret :  Mexico,  1905- 1908,  etc.     8*. 

[9772.  cc] 

180.  Garcia,  Gregorio,   Dominican. — Historia  Ecclesiastica  y  Seglar  de  la 

Yndia  Oriental  y  Occidental,  y  Predicacion  del  Sancto  Evfiselio  en 
ella  por  los  Apostoles.  Averiguad  por  el  P.  Presentado  Fr.  Gregorio 
Garcia,  de  la  Orden  de  Predicsuiores.  En  que  hallara  el  lector  cursado 
en  letras,  discursos  que  deleyten  su  entendimiento,  y  el  curioso 
Romancista,  cosas  de  mucho  gusto,  piedad  y  devotion  :  particular- 
mente  desde  el  segundo  libro  de  este  Tratado.  A  la  Sacratissima  y 
siempre  Virgen  Maria  del  Rosario.     (Tabla.)    ff.  250. 

Impresso  en  Baefa :  por  Pedro  de  la  Cuesta,  Atlo  de  1626.     12*. 

[K.  196.  g.  32.] 

181.  . — Origen  de  los  Indios  de  el  Nuevo  Mundo,  e  Indias  Ocd- 

dentales.  Averiguado  con  discurso  de  opiniones  por  el  Padre 
Presentado  Fray  Gregorio  Garda,  de  la  Orden  de  Predicadores. 
Tratanse  en  este  Libro  varias  cosas,  y  puntos  curiosos,  tocantes  á 
diversas  dencias  y  facaltades,  con  que  se  haze  varia  historia,  de  mucho 
gusto  para  el  ingenio  y  entendimiento  de  hombres  agudos  y  curiosos. 
Dirigido  al  Angelico  Dotor  Santo  Thomas  de  Aquino.  (Tabla.) 
PP-  535. 

En  Valencia :  en  casa  de  Pedro  Patricio  Mey,  junto  a  San  Martin, 

M  DC  VII.      12*. 
[1061.  b.  II.] 

182.  . — Origen  de  los  Indios  de  el   Nuevo   Mundo  e   Indias  Ocd- 

dentales.  Averiguado  con  discurso  de  opiniones  por  el  Padre  Pre- 
sentado Fr.  Gregorio  Garcia,  de  la  Orden  de  Predicadores.  Tratanse 
en  este  Libro  varias  cosas,  y  puntos  curiosos,  tocantes  á  diversas 
Ciencias,  i  Facultades,  con  que  se  hace  varia  Historia,  de  mucho  gusto 
paia  el  Ingenio,  i  Intendimiento  de  Hombres  agudos  i  curiosos.  Segunda 
Impresion.  Enmendada  y  afiadida  de  algunas  opiniones,  h  cosas  notables 
en  maior  prueba  de  lo  que  contiene,  con  Tres  Tablas  mui  puntuales  de 
los  Capitulos,  de  las  Materias,  y  Antores,  que  las  tratan.  Dirigido  al 
Angelico  Doct.  S***.  Tomas  de  Aquino.     (Tabla. )    pp.  336. 

En  Madrid:  En  la  ImprnUa  de  Francisco  Martinez  Abad,  Ano  de 

1729.     foL 
[G.  7225.     L.P.     From  the   Library  of  the  Risht  Hon.  Thomas 

Grenville. — K.  146.  e.  4.     From  the  Libnury  of  King  George  III. 


346  BIBLlOGttAfHV. 

183.  Garda  de  P«lado»  Di^o. --Carta  dirijida  al  Rey  de  EsfMlla.     Por  d 

Lioendado  Dr.  Don  Diego  Garcia  de  Pálacio,  Oydor  de  la  Real 
Audienda  de  Guatemala.  Afio  1576.  Being  a  Diescription  of  the 
Ancient  Provinces  of  Guazacapan,  Izalco,  Cnscatlan,  and  Chlqoimiila, 
in  the  Audienda  of  Guatemala.  With  an  account  of  the  Languages, 
Customs  and  Religion  of  their  Aboiiginal  Inhabitants,  and  a  Description 
of  the  Ruins  of  Copan.  pp.  131.  (In  "  Collection  of  Rare  and  Or^iinal 
Documents  and  Relatimis  concerning  the  Discovery  and  Conquest  of 
America,  chiefly  from  the  Spanish  Archives.  Published  in  the  Original, 
with  Translations,  illustrative  Notes,  Maps,  and  Biogiaphioal  Sketdies. 
By  E.  G.  Squier,  M.A.,  F-S-A.*"    No.  i.) 

CkarUs  B,  Nortm  :  Hew  VorJk,  mdccclx.     4*. 

[9551.  c.  18.] 

184.  Garcia  Icasbaloeta,  Joaouin.— Apuntes  para  un  Catálogo  de  Escritores 

en  Lenguas  Indigenas  de  America.  Por  Joaquin  Garcia  Icazbalceta. 
pp.  xiii.  157. 

Se  han  impreso  60  ejemplares  en  la  imprenta  partiaUar  del  (tutor 
Mexico,  1866.     I2< 

[11901.  aa.  30.— No.  51  of  60  copies  printed.] 

185.  .^Biblipnafia  Mezicana  del  Siglo  XVI.   Primeia  Parte.  Catálogo 

lazonado  de  lioros  impresos  en  Mexico  de  1539  á  i6oa  Con  BiograÆus 
de  aotores  y  otras  ilustradones.  Precedido  de  una  notida  aoerca  de  la 
introducdón  de  la  imprenta  en  Mexico.  Por  Joaquin  Garcia  Icazbal- 
ceta  .  .  .  Obra  adomada  con  facsimiles  fotolitc^ráficos  y  fototipo- 
gráficos.     pp.  xxix.  433. 

Lihreria  de  Andradey  Morales ,  Sucesores:  Mexico,  1886.     8*. 
[11901.  k.  26.— 1 1905,  f.  30.] 

186.  . — Colecdón  de  Documentos  para  la  Historia  de  Mexico.     Publi- 

cada  por  Joaquin  Garcia  Icazbalceta.     2  tom. 

UbreriadeJ,  M,  Andrade  ;  Antigua  LikreHa:  Mexico,  1858-66.    S^. 

[9771.  f.  15.] 

187.  . — Nueva  Colecdón  de  Documentos  para  la  Historia  de  Mexico. 

Pubiicada  por  Joaquin  Garcia  Icazbalceta.     5  tom. 

Antigua  Libreria  de  Andrade  y  Morales,  Sucesores  :  Francisco  Dicu 

de  Leon:  Mexico,  1886-92.     8*. 
[9771.  bbb.  2.] 

187  a.  .—Tom.   I.— Cartas  de  Religiosos  de  Nueva  Espafia.     1539- 

1886.    8'. 

187  b.  .—Tom.  2.— Códice  Frandscano.    Siglo  xvi.     Infiorme  de  la 

Provincia  del  Santo  EvangeUo  al  Visitador  Lie.  Juan  de  Ovando. 
Informe  de  la  Provincia  de  Guadalajara  al  Mismo.  Cartas  de  Reli- 
giosos.    1533-1569. 

1889.    8*. 

187  c. . — Tom.  3. — Pomar  y  Zurita.     Pomar.     Reladón  de  Tezcoco. 

Zurita.     Breve  Reladón  de  los  SeAores  de  la  Nueva  Espafia.    Varias 
Relaciones  Antiguas.     Siglo  xvi. 
1891.    8'. 

ftlBLlOGkAPHY.  U!^ 

187  d,  e. .—Tom.  4,  5.— Códice  Mendieta.     Docnmentos  Fnuiciscanos. 

Siglos  XVI  V  XVII.  [Part  i.  1557-1583.  Part  2.  1585-1622.] 
(Codicede  TUitelolco.— Aoales  de  Tecamachalco. ) 

1892.    8^ 

188.  .— Obias  de  D.  J.  Garda  Icazbalceta.   [With  a  Portrait.]   lo  torn. 

(Biblioteca  de  Autores  Mexicanos.  Historiadores.  Tom.  1-3,  6,  9, 
12,  14,  18,20,23.) 

/my.  de  F,  Agueros  :  Mexico^  1896-99.     ^. 

[12231.  c.  II.] 

189.  GArda  Peláez^  Frandsco  de  Paula,  Bishop  of  GuatemaUí.—VíemonBi 

pare  la  Histona  del  Antiguo  Reyno  de  Guatemala.     2  torn. 

Guatemala^  1851-52.    8*. 
[Not  in  the  Britbh  Museum.] 

190.  GÍOYÍO,  Paulo,  Bishop  of  Nocera^  the  Elder. — Pauli  lovii  Novocomensis, 

emscopi  Nucerini,  Historiarum  sui  tempons  Tomus  Primus  (Secundus). 
[With  a  Prefatory  Letter  by  Andreas  AJciatus.]    2  tom. 

Florentia:  in  officina  Laurentii  Torrentini  Ducalis  Typographic 
MDL,  MDUI.     fol. 

[K.  212.  g.  I.     From  the  Library  of  King  George  III.] 

191.  Godoy,  Diego. — Relation  &tta  per  Diego  Godoi  a  Fernando  Cortese. 

Lettere  di  Diego,  nelle  quali  tratta  del  scoprimento  &  acquisto  di 
diverse  dttá  &  provinde :  delle  guerre  &  battaglie  die  per  tal  cosa 
fiieron  fatte,  la  maniera  dell'  arme  da  combattere  et  da  coprirsi  che 
tisano  quelli,  delia  provincia  di  Chamula,  di  alcune  strade  molto  diffidli 
&  pericolose,  de  portamenti  del  reggente,  &  della  divisione  de  beni  die 
gia  ftirono  divisi  in  quelle  bande.  (In  "  Terzo  Volume  delle  Naviga- 
tioni  et  Viaggi.  Raccoito  gia  da  M.  Gio.  Battista  Ramusio."  fol. 

In  Venetia :  nella  Stamperia  d^  Giunti^  PAnno.  MDLXV.    fol. 

[G.  6820.— From  the  Library  of  the  Right  Hon.  Thomas  Grenville.— 
679.  h.  10.  From  the  Library  of  the  Rev.  C.  M.  Cradierode. 
With  the  arms  and  cyphers  of  Jacques  Auguste  de  Thou,  and  his 
first  wife,  Marie  Barninf on.] 

192.  . — Reladon  hecha  por  Diego  Godoy,  a  Hernando  Cortes,  en  que 

trata  del  Descubrimiento  de  diversaa  Ciudades,  i  Provindas,  i  Guenra, 
que  tuvo  con  los  Indios,  i  su  modo  de  pelear :  De  la  Provincia  de 
Chamula,  de  los  Caminos  difidles,  i  peligrosos ;  i  repartimiento  que 
hÍ90  de  los  Pueblos.  (In  "  Historiadores  Primitivos  de  las  Indias 
Ocddentales,  que  junto,  traduxo  en  parte,  y  sacó  á  luz,  ilustrados  con 
eruditas  Notas,  y  copiosos  Indices,  el  Ilustrisimo  SeAor  D.  Andres 
Gonzalez  Barda,  del  Consejo,  y  Camara  de  S.  M.  Divididos  en  tres 
Tomos,  cuyo  contenido  se  vera  en  el  folio  siguiente."  Tom.  i.  Part  2. 
pp.  166-173.) 

Madridy  AAo  mdccxlix.    fol. 

[K.  145.  f.  9.     From  the  Library  of  King  George  III.] 


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